Republican Senator Looks to Mislead Voters on China, Worker Training Record
COLUMBUS – Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman voted once again today to move forward with debate of fast-track legislation that paves the way for the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – and sided with Washington special interests over pleas from Ohio communities to stop his outsourcing agenda.
As the Senate looks to consider amendments next week, Portman is attaching himself to anything he can to distract Ohio voters from his long record of outsourcing their jobs – including China currency and Trade Adjustment Assistance issues he’s been on the wrong side of for years.
“Rob Portman is running for political cover wherever he can find it, but all the amendments in the world can’t cover up Portman’s long history of siding with China and Washington special interests over Ohio jobs. No matter how many amendments Portman claims to support, at the end of the day he’s going to vote to fast-track the Pacific Trade Agreement and send Ohio jobs overseas, just like he did with NAFTA,” said Ohio Democratic Party Executive Director Greg Beswick.
Rob Portman: China’s Best Friend, Ohio Workers’ Worst Enemy
· While Portman was U.S. Trade Representative from 2005-2006, the trade deficit with China soared up $228 billion, an increase of more than 20 percent. [PolitiFact, 9/9/10]
· Yet Portman failed to crack down on China’s unfair trade practices, even drawing criticism for his inaction from the libertarian Cato Institute. [Cincinnati Enquirer, 6/22/12]
· And as a result, Ohio workers lost jobs: A 2014 study showed that Ohio had lost more than 100,000 jobs due to the trade deficit with China that grew under Portman – 77,000 in manufacturing alone. [Cleveland Plain Dealer,12/11/14; Economic Policy Institute, 12/11/14]
· In March 2011, Portman voted for a bill that would have cut job training funding in Ohio by nearly $60 million, cutting off job training for nearly 80,000 Ohio workers, including more than 6,000 whose jobs had been displaced. [Vote 36, 3/9/11; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/1/11]
· In September 2011, Portman voted to cut Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits for workers hurt by trade. [Vote 143, 9/21/11]
· In September 2011, Portman voted to hold support for Ohio workers hostage to the very trade agreements that cost them jobs in the first place by voting to delay Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) until pending trade agreements passed. [Vote 142, 9/21/11]
· In 2003, Portman voted against an amendment to protect health insurance benefits for workers displaced by foreign trade. [Vote 291, 6/19/03; Washington Post, 6/22/03]