Donald Trump
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to the Detroit Economic Club at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MichiganEric Thayer/Reuters

US presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sparred on 8 August over the Republican nominee's newly released economic plan. During a campaign stop in Detroit, Trump attempted to appeal to voters on both sides of the aisle with his economic plan and continued attacks on Clinton.

In a speech to the Detroit Economic Club, Trump unveiled a plan to simplify the tax system, disrupt trade agreements and rethink the country's energy policy, the New York Times reported. "I want to jump-start America, and it can be done, and it won't even be that hard," he told the crowd.

Trump referred to his plan as "the biggest tax reform since Reagan." He added: "It will present a night-and-day contrast to the job-killing, tax-raising, poverty-inducing Obama-Clinton agenda."

The GOP nominee embraced a tax plan by House Republicans that would cut taxes on all Americans, but would be particularly beneficial to higher earners and called for ending a so-called death tax. "American workers have paid taxes their whole lives, and they should not be taxed again at death," he said. "It is just plain wrong, and most people agree with that."

In an attempt to appeal to the left, Trump called for child care expenses to be tax exempt. The New York Times noted, however, that the proposal only sounds good on paper. Upper middle-class and wealthy families would benefit the most, while lower and lows-middle-class families that pay little to no federal income tax would not benefit.

He then claimed his plan would go further than that of his Democratic rivals. "All Hillary Clinton has to offer is more of the same: more taxes, more regulations, more bureaucrats, more restrictions on American energy and on American production," Trump claimed.

Clinton responded during a stop in St Petersburg, Florida and said Trump's tax proposals were essentially traditional Republican "trickle-down economics," the Wall Street Journal reported. She noted that his plan "will give super-big tax breaks to large corporations, just like him and the guys who wrote the speech."

Trump's speech comes on the heels of a disastrous two weeks following the Republican National Convention. The GOP nominee's poll numbers have steadily declined against Clinton's and he has been on the receiving end of criticisms over his comments on workplace sexual harassment and on the Muslim parents of a US Army war hero.