EXETER, N.H. – Struggling in the polls, Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is proposing sweeping tax changes and new trade agreements as the means to stimulate new jobs.
The former Utah governor will become the first Republican contender to offer a detailed job-creation blueprint when he delivers the address Wednesday afternoon at Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in Hudson, N.H.
"The president believes that we can tax and spend and regulate our way to prosperity. We cannot. We must compete our way to prosperity," Huntsman is to say, according to an excerpt of prepared remarks obtained by The Associated Press. "We need American entrepreneurs not only thinking of products like the iPhone or Segway; we need American workers building those products. It's time for 'Made in America' to mean something again."
Huntsman will propose new trade deals beyond Colombia, Panama and South Korea, the three pacts the Obama administration supports, as well as an overhaul of the current tax code to create a simpler system, according to an adviser who discussed the plan on condition of anonymity ahead of the speech.
Huntsman, who served as the Obama administration's ambassador to China, has fought to win over Republican primary voters since entering the race, despite assembling a huge staff in New Hampshire, which hosts the nation's first presidential primary.
He earned support from just 1 percent of Republicans in a CNN/ORC International survey released this week. That's down from 4 percent in early August.