Strickland Statement: Portman Is the Best Senator China Ever Had

In response to Senator Rob Portman’s duplicitous and disingenuous statement on trade agreements today, Ted Strickland issued the following statement:

"For decades Senator Rob Portman has turned his back on Ohio's workers every chance he got — prioritizing China’s interests at the expense of our working families. He rammed this same trade deal through Congress that he now claims to oppose — even bragging that he refused to read the bill before he voted for it. The difference between Senator Portman and myself when it comes to trade is clear: he voted for 8 trade deals and I opposed them. He voted to make permanent most favored nation status for China, and I opposed it. At every turn, I have fought to protect Ohio’s working people from those like Senator Portman who are pushing the agenda of the Washington powerbrokers and the wealthy special interests at our expense. But Portman — he’s the best Senator China ever had. It’s another example proving that Senator Portman will say anything to help himself, and that Ohio’s working people can’t trust him to look out for us.”
 
BACKGROUND:
 
Cleveland Plain Dealer Editorial: Portman Is “Is A Free-Trade Disciple.” “Those who watch such things have suspected for a while now that Rep. Rob Portman, the Southwestern Ohio Republican so personally and politically close to President George W. Bush, would not much longer remain among the House rank and file. Thus, Bush's announcement yesterday that Portman was his nominee to be the next U.S. trade representative came as no great surprise. […] He is a free-trade disciple who, before he went to Congress a dozen years ago, practiced international trade law.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, Editorial, 3/18/05]
 
Tapped To Be Bush’s Trade Representative, Portman Was Criticized For Being A “Dedicated Outsourcer.” “In a surprise move, President Bush on Thursday tapped one of his closest congressional allies, Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, to be the next U.S. trade representative, giving the administration an insider's influence in steering trade pacts through Congress. … Just the same, 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]
 
Columbus Dispatch: Portman “Has Never Met A Free-Trade Agreement He Didn't Like.” “Portman and Fisher are just as sharply split on international trade, a top issue in a state that ranks seventh nationally in exports. Portman, a former congressman and U.S. trade representative, has never met a free-trade agreement he didn't like. Fisher, who as lieutenant governor supervises Ohio's 14 international offices, wants to either repeal or renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.” [Columbus Dispatch, 7/11/10]
 
Strickland Voted Against 8 Free Trade Deals In Congress. Portman Voted For 8 Free Trade Deals. During his time in Congress, Strickland voted against eight trade deals. Portman, during his time in Congress, voted for eight trade deals. [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]

Portman Voted To Grant China Most Favored Nation Trade Status. [CQ, 5/24/00; H.R. 4444, Vote 228, 5/24/00]
 
2015: Portman Voted To Fast-Track TPP Without Reading It. “Though he hasn’t read the TPP proposal, Portman voted June 24 with the majority in a 60-38 vote to approve fast-track authority. Fast track is a key step in the trade process. It allows the president to give such deals to Congress for only yes-or-no votes without the power for the legislative body to amend them.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 8/3/15; H.R. 2146, Vote 219, 6/24/15]
 
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