Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), one of more than 20 Democratic 2020 presidential candidates hoping to earn the party’s nomination, has a bold new plan to improve the American economy.

Hickenlooper, 67, a former small business owner who also previously served as mayor of Denver, is one of the moderate 2020 contenders. He explained to uPolitics exclusively what his strategy for handling the economy is.

“I think the first thing we have to recognize is that it’s a global marketplace and we need fair trade,” said Hickenlooper. “We need to protect workers in the workplace and make sure that workers are being paid a fair, livable wage in foreign countries when we’re competing.”

“There’s a way to measure that and hold our trading partners accountable but we can’t be isolationist,” he added.

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Hickenlooper believes the various trade wars President Donald Trump has started and prolonged since taking office — most notably one with China — have been “crippling our economy” and have led to tariffs on imports of various goods. This has thus translated to higher expenses for American consumers.

“The tariffs are the equivalent of every family and household in this country paying $800 to $1,200 [more] a year for the same stuff they were buying last year,” said Hickenlooper.

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The Colorado Democrat also said Trump has further increased income inequality by approving the 2017 tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that the Congress — for which both houses at the time were controlled by the Republican Party — passed that year.

“That’s the opposite direction,” Hickenlooper said with regards to how much working class Americans should have to pay in taxes compared to upper-class people.

Hickenlooper also presented his vision for how he hoped the United States could serve as a model for economic excellence in the world.

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“I think we can turn the economy around [and] convince America that we can lead the nation again, that we can be the most pro-business country in the world with the highest environment standards and ethical standards,” said Hickenlooper.

The former Denver mayor finally emphasized he believes training and apprenticeship programs are key to revitalizing the economy, and cited one such program in Colorado that has now been replicated in some form in 22 other states.

Stay tuned for more exclusive videos from uPolitics’ series of interviews with 2020 presidential candidates.