Ahead of RNC, Strickland & Ohio Workers Highlight Portman’s Support For Job Killing Trade Policies

Strickland: Trump’s RNC will shine spotlight on Portman’s support for unfair trade deals

COLUMBUS, OH – Ahead of the Republican National Convention, today Ted Strickland joined Cleveland-area workers and labor leaders to highlight the contrast between himself and Senator Rob Portman on trade policy, and to discuss how Trump’s Republican Convention will shine a bright spotlight on Senator Portman’s long record of supporting job killing trade deals that have cost Ohio over 300,000 jobs to places like China.

Strickland was joined by North Shore AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Harriet Applegate, Michael “Iron Mike” Kilbane of Ironworkers Local 17, garment worker Wanda Navarro of Workers United Local 10, and Ed Rico of United Steelworkers Local 1104. The event was held at the Laborer’s Local 310 Hall in Cleveland, and is part of the Strickland Campaign and the Ohio Democratic Party’s on the ground campaign in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention. Photos from the event are below:

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“Trump’s Republican Convention is guaranteed to shine a bright spotlight on Senator Portman unabashed support for unfair trade policies that have cost Ohio over 300,000 jobs to places like China and hurt our working families,” said Ted Strickland. “The contrast between Portman and myself on this critical issue couldn’t be more clear: I am proud of my strong, consistent record of opposing these kinds of damaging trade deals, and that’s what I’ll continue doing in the Senate in order to protect Ohio’s jobs and workers. But Portman is the best senator China’s ever had – he’s a ‘dedicated outsourcer,’ the ultimate D.C. insider, and he represents everything Ohioans don’t like about Washington. Over the next few days in Cleveland, there will be nowhere Senator Portman can hide to escape the toxic impact of Trump’s convention.”   

“I grew up in a home where trade-union negotiated wages -- in exchange for hard and sometimes very dangerous work -- put the roof over our heads, food on the table and afforded our family access to healthcare. I have supported my own children through the same means. I appreciate a candidate that supports and even encourages my right to negotiate for fair pay and a safe workplace,” said Michael “Iron Mike” Kilbane of Ironworkers Local 17. “The working people of Ohio have a true friend in Ted Strickland, He has always been right on matters of trade, workers’ rights and all the issues that matter most to working families. We need him in the U.S. Senate, fighting for us,” 

“Our local clothing industry is constantly threatened by clothing lines manufactured overseas using cheap labor to maximize profits. Senator Portman’s support for past bad trade deals has created an environment that is hostile for manufacturers in the U.S,” said garment worker Wanda Navarro of Workers United Local 10. “My job will always be threatened because of these bad trade deals, and to keep approving new ones -- as Rob Portman has done -- is adding insult to injury. I know Ted Strickland is on our side in this fight, and I know he wants to protect and create every Ohio job he can.”

“Just about a year ago, Senator Portman voted to fast track the TPP, removing his own ability to change the agreement when it comes back to the Senate for approval.  Senator Portman astonishingly admitted he didn’t even read the agreement before voting to fast-track it,” said Ed Rico of United Steelworkers Local 1104 “I believe Ted Strickland is dedicated to protecting jobs here by demanding fair terms on any trade deal that is approved. Ted Strickland remains a real champion for manufacturing jobs in Ohio, just as he always has. And that’s why has my vote in this election.”

Strickland previously released his Ohio Families First proposal to crack down on unfair trade deals, focusing on four central areas: requiring transparency in trade negotiations, opposing new job-killing trade deals, stopping China from gaining new trade protections like Market Economy Status, and requiring aggressive, accountable enforcement of existing trade enforcement provisions.

On trade, the Columbus Dispatch wrote that “the voting records of Strickland and Portman are polar opposites.” Senator Portman has been called a “Dedicated Outsourcer;” supported 8 unfair trade deals; voted to grant China Permanent Most Favored Nation Status; described himself as CAFTA’s “quarterback;” refused to crack down on unfair Chinese steel imports as United States Trade Representative; and called efforts to stop Chinese currency manipulation “counter-productive.” The Strickland campaign has also released two digital ads on Portman’s trade record: “Shameless” and “Trump Said It.” Additional information about Portman’s record on trade is available at www.BeltwayRob.com.

Ahead of the RNC, the Strickland Campaign has also launched a new digital hub –www.PortmanALLinForTrump.com-- providing Ohioans and members of the press continuous updates about the Strickland Campaign and Ohio Democratic Party’s activities in Cleveland during the week of the Republican Convention.

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