Ted Strickland Statement on Anniversary of Portman’s Support for CAFTA

On today’s anniversary of Senator Rob Portman’s statement of support for the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and his declaration that he served as CAFTA’s  “quarterback” in Congress, Ted Strickland issued the following statement:

“Today is an important reminder of Senator Portman’s decades-long, unabashed support for job-killing trade deals like CAFTA that have hurt our working families and cost Ohio over 300,000 jobs. But Portman hasn’t just been a reliable vote for unfair trade deals – in Washington he’s been the chief cheerleader for these damaging trade agreements that have devastated our economy. Eleven years ago today, Portman proudly bragged that he was the ‘quarterback’ to ram CAFTA through Congress – and today Ohioans are still feeling the consequences: thousands of our jobs shipped overseas, manufacturing towns devastated, and hardworking Ohioans put out of work through no fault of their own. The contrast on this issue couldn’t be more clear: I was proud to vote against CAFTA, permanent most favored nation status for China and other damaging trade policies that Portman supported, and in the Senate I will continue cracking down on bad trade policies in order to protect Ohio jobs and American workers.”

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.”


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