By Keith Laing
Rick Perry targeted the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday as he unveiled his economic plan in South Carolina.
The NLRB has filed a complaint against Boeing for launching a new plant in Charleston, S.C. It accuses the airplane manufacturer of locating in South Carolina instead of near its existing facilities in Seattle in retaliation for strikes by union members in Washington.
The issue has become a rallying point for Republicans, particularly in South Carolina, and Perry joined the GOP chorus of opposition in his speech in Greenville, S.C.
"When federal agencies like the NLRB are dictating to companies where they can create jobs and where they cannot, they have overstepped their bounds and undermined our free-market system," he said in remarks prepared for delivery at the ISO Poly Films company in Greenville.
"On my first day in office, I will freeze all pending federal regulations and immediately begin a review of all new regulations since January of 2008," Perry continued.
Perry called his economic plan, which includes a 20 percent flat tax, a "Cut, Balance and Grow" plan.
A big part of the five-part plan is limited regulations.
"The federal nanny state's heavy-handed regulations are keeping our economy in the ditch," Perry said Tuesday. "It is time to review and scrap regulations that harm jobs and growth."
Other Republican presidential candidates have sharply criticized the NLRB's Boeing case as well. Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney compared the NLRB case to conservative outrage over the Obama administration's healthcare law.
In a May speech in Michigan, Romney called the NLRB's lawsuit "a power grab from states, with the federal government saying, 'we know better than the state.' "
He supported a recent House bill to limit some of the labor board's powers.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has said that candidates competing in her early GOP primary state should state their positions on the NLRB case before they ask for voters' support.
Boeing has already opened the new plant at issue in Charleston. The company plans to build 787s at the facility, but if the NLRB complaint is ultimately successful, the company could be forced to build them in Seattle instead.
The case is before the administrative law judge in Seattle who has denied a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.