Jeremy Corbyn has denied his new “Build it in Britain” campaign is protectionist and insisted it does not echo Donald Trump.
The Labour leader visited HS2 trains bidder Bombardier today after the launch of the new policy.
At the launch, Mr Corbyn promised Labour would use state aid powers “to the full” to support Britain’s manufacturing sector following Brexit.
On his visit to the site in Derby, the Labour leader was given the opportunity to drive a train being sent to his constituency, Islington North, on Thursday – an experience he described as “absolutely wonderful”.
Asked whether his policy echoed the US president, Mr Corbyn said: “Not at all. Absolutely not at all.
“What we are saying is invest in our manufacturing base so that we can trade with other people.
“Germany does that, France does that, Italy does that, Spain does that. We don’t.
“It’s not protectionism. It’s the opposite because that gives us a chance to trade in the future.
“We allowed Redcar to close down when it could have been saved, eventually Port Talbot was saved in the steel industry.
“Too often, really good ideas that are developed here don’t get brought through to production because nobody is prepared to invest in them.”
During his tour of the site, Mr Corbyn spoke to employers, workers and union representatives about how the next Labour government planned to prioritise British manufacturing.
Before his visit, the Labour leader said: “Under the Tories, our industries have not received the support they need, with the Government farming out major public contracts overseas. This is bad for workers and it’s bad for business.
“Our economy has become too narrowly focused, with the Conservatives prioritising speculative interests in the City of London and ignoring the needs of our communities.
“The next Labour government will throw its weight behind British manufacturing, reprogramme our economy and build a society that works for the many, not the few.”