Meet China’s New Best Friend: Rob Portman

COLUMBUS – Republican Senator Rob Portman isn’t fooling anyone with his newly concocted “tough on China” act. After throwing Ohio workers under the bus last week with his vote to fast track the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership, Portman claimed he “fought for a level-playing field” with an amendment to crack down on China’s currency manipulations.

What Rob Portman doesn’t want you to know, is that his amendment failed (read more) . . . and in response, Portman promptly turned around and voted to fast track TPP anyway – proof Portman’s supposed fight for a level-playing field was nothing more than a smokescreen designed to distract Ohio workers from his real agenda.

But, Portman’s “tough on China” act, isn’t just too little, it’s too late by a decade. The truth is, Portman has been on team China since his days as U.S. Trade Representative in 2005, and Ohio workers have paid the price.

Rob Portman’s Real Record on China

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]