At Roundtable With Laid-Off Steelworkers, Strickland Pledges to Fight for American Jobs

Strickland pledges to continue opposing bad trade deals in U.S. Senate, highlights Portman’s support for trade policies that have jeopardized steel jobs

COLUMBUS, OH — Today former Governor Ted Strickland joined community members, out-of-work steelworkers and local elected officials in Lorain to hold a roundtable discussion on the recent layoffs associated with the idling of the Republic Steel and U.S. Steel plants.
 
At the event, Strickland highlighted his proven record of opposing trade deals and policies that have jeopardized steel jobs across Northern Ohio and pledged to continue fighting for American manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Senate. Strickland's record stands in stark contrast to Senator Portman: Portman repeatedly voted for bad trade deals that send jobs to places like China, opposed restrictions on unfair Chinese steel imports as U.S. Trade Representative, and was even labeled a “dedicated outsourcer.”
 
“As the son of a steelworker, my heart breaks for the people of Lorain — but in the U.S. Senate I will not rest until every Ohioan who is willing to work hard and wants a good paying job can find one,” said former Governor Ted Strickland. “What is happening in Lorain is no accident: it’s the result of politicians like Senator Portman who support bad trade deals and policies that jeopardize Northern Ohio’s economy and send our jobs to places like China. And it’s the consequence of Senator Portman prioritizing the interests of the Washington establishment he’s part of and the wealthy special interests he serves at our expense. In the U.S. Senate I will continue to oppose every bad trade deal, I’ll fight to keep jobs in America and to rebuild our manufacturing economy, and I will always put the interests of Ohio’s working people first — that’s where I come from, and those are the folks I care about.”
 
“Lorain is facing a real challenge, but I trust Ted to stand up for us working people,” said Dennis Knox, a steelworker for 43 years from Lorain who was laid off. “He is down-to-earth and he can relate to us. He has a story of overcoming, rising to the political arena and yet still having his feet anchored to the ground. He hasn’t forgotten where he came from, and I know he’ll always fight for us in the U.S. Senate.”
 
“Rob Portman is certainly not a friend of labor. We’ve had Republicans who are friends, but he is not one of them. I think it’s important to have someone like Ted in the Senate, especially for Ohio and working people during these difficult times," said Louise Zimmerman, United Steelworkers Local 2354.
 
BACKGROUND:

In Congress Strickland Opposed Every Free Trade Deal and Opposed Most Favored Nation Status For China. Portman Voted For Every Free Trade Deal And For Most Favored Nation Status For China. [H.R. 3078, Vote 163, 10/12/11; H.R. 3079, Vote 162, 10/12/11; H.R. 3080, Vote 161, 10/12/11; H.R. 5684, Vote 392, 7/20/06; H.R. 4340, Vote 616, 12/7/05; H.R. 3045, Vote 443, 7/28/05; H.R. 4842, Vote 413, 7/22/04; H.R. 4759, Vote 375, 7/14/04; H.R. 2738, Vote 436, 7/24/03; H.R. 2739, Vote 432, 7/24/03; H.R. 3450, Vote 575, 11/17/93; H.R. 4444, Vote 228, 5/24/00]
 
CQ: Portman Called A “Dedicated Outsourcer.” "Alan Tonelson, a research fellow with the U.S. Business and Industry Council, which represents companies affected by free trade and opposes current free-trade policies, called Portman's nomination a ‘slap in the face to the U.S. domestic manufacturing base.’ ‘Rep. Portman has been a dedicated outsourcer throughout his career in Congress,’ Tonelson said in a statement.” [CQ Today, 3/17/05]
 
Politico: As U.S. Trade Representative, “Portman Urged The President Not To Impose Restrictions On Cheap Chinese Steel Imports, Causing A Drop In Sales And Job Losses For The U.S. Steel Industry.” “As Bush's top trade negotiator in 2005, Portman urged the president not to impose restrictions on cheap Chinese steel imports, causing a drop in sales and job losses for the U.S. steel industry. And that could resonate with voters at a time they're worried about the economic threat from China and American jobs being shipped overseas.” [Politico, 7/24/12]
 
WKYC: Chinese Trade Policy A “Big Factor Contributing To A Grim, Short-Term Outlook For Steel” In Lorain. "The other big factor contributing to a grim, short-term outlook for steel here is an ongoing battle against cheap steel being dumped here by China and other countries. China is the ‘Bigfoot' in the world steel business, making more steel than all other countries combined. It has a low-wage work force, fewer expensive environmental regulations and government help to tip the scale in its favor. It can often sell steel products for less than what it costs steelmakers here to manufacture it. And there's no shortage of companies willing to buy cheaper and often lower quality steel. Companies file complaints with U.S. and international trade and commerce organizations. And there are little victories with tariffs being imposed.” [WKYC, 1/8/16]
 
###

Join Team Ted