TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Recent polls show Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump neck-and-neck with Governor John Kasich ahead of Ohio's primary.
Trump, who is well-known in the business world for his brand, real estate and other products, has made trade a key theme in his 2016 campaign. But will that work in his favor on Tuesday?
CNN has reported that Donald Trump calls out companies like Ford and Apple for manufacturing products outside of the United States, with some of the Trump family's own products being made abroad. That includes certain Donald J. Trump items, and products from daughter Ivanka Trump's fashion line.
With Ohio, especially the Northwestern part, encompassing a large union vote, trade could become a hot issue that voters may resonate with.
"I think these things run in opposite directions. He's been very firm in opposing trade deals, and yet in his personal life experience as a business person, it seems to run in the opposite direction. I think people are hearing the message about trade deals, but not paying attention to the other things in his personal history," said Sam Nelson, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Toledo.
Along with stating that he will win Ohio, Trump has indicated that he will make great trade deals, including putting a tax on Chinese and Mexican goods, and bringing back middle class jobs.
"The trade deals have winners and losers, so to unravel some of the trade deals would likely affect some industries in a negative way, and other industries in a positive way. I think that trade deals are really powerful symbols of a whole set of changes that have taken place over the last 30 or 40 years with globalization. But trade deals are not the entire explanation for lost manufacturing jobs and things like that," said Nelson.
At the GOP Debate in Detroit, Michigan, WTOL's Viviana Hurtado asked Mr. Trump to talk to the autoworkers of Toledo, to which he gave this response:
"I love the autoworkers! We're going to bring back work. We're going to bring back the jobs from Mexico," Trump said, also having told WTOL by phone that he wants to protect the auto industry.
"If you look at Ford, Ford moved a massive plant. A $2.5 billion plant to Mexico. Other companies are moving to Mexico, Japan is getting stronger and stronger and I'm not going to allow it to happen. We're going to win on trade. We're going to win on healthcare. We're going to win the military," said Trump.
Either way, positions on trade agreements will play a big role in the 2016 election.