"These trade agreements clearly have sold out the middle class. Ten years ago, we had a $1 billion trade deficit with China on auto parts. Today it's $10 billion," he said. "Now we have a new steel mill in Youngstown, more steel jobs in Cleveland and in Lorain, and more aluminum jobs in Heath, Ohio, and Sidney, Ohio."
Mandel countered Brown's claim of bipartisanship. "I need to correct your first comment. You take a back seat to everyone when it comes to bipartisanship," he said. "Since Sherrod Brown's gone to Washington, our trade cap with China has grown 16 times greater. One out of every four kids living in Ohio is in poverty. That is a record of failure."
Can Mandel back up his claim? A Mandel campaign spokesman said in an email, "The federal stimulus bill in 2009, on which Brown voted yes, led to tens of millions in taxpayer money being spent on wind turbine parts made in China."
But the wind project with the Chinese connection never got completed. Since companies could only collect money after completion and the program expired last year, it is safe to say that the amount that went to China was "zero."
We find Mandel's claim was overly broad; dead wrong in the case of his most concrete backup examples and, overall, just not accurate.
Fisher said Portman has backed trade policies that have sent Ohio jobs overseas. He repeatedly sought to tie Portman to economic policies of former President George W. Bush, in whose administration Portman served as trade representative.
Portman said Fisher's proposals would mean job-killing higher taxes. "You can't continue to raise taxes," he said.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland implemented a tax cut in 2005 that resulted in state income taxes that are 16.8 percent less than they were in 2004, said a spokeswoman for Fisher, Ohio's lieutenant governor [under Strickland].
Fisher called for more stringent trade and tax policies to discourage companies from moving overseas. Portman's economic solutions included more favorable tax and regulatory policies to encourage business development, more effective workforce training programs, and undefined spending cuts to lower the deficit. He said his health-care plan would include provisions to restrict malpractice lawsuits, a GOP priority left out of the new law.
A: No. These free trade agreements have destroyed our jobs and economy. They have allowed for the export of our innovation & technology and will continue to destroy our nation. We need fair trade agreements, not free trade agreements. We must start protecting our native jobs, intellectual property and our manufacturing jobs.
BROWN: I would renegotiate NAFTA, as I would renegotiate PNTR with China. Mike DeWine has supported every time these trade agreements that give incentives to the big corporations.
DeWINE: Iíll give you an example on trade. Steel. When these steel companies were importing steel, dumping steel in the US from China & other countries, we got the president to put tariffs on. It made a big difference. Another example. Sen. Byrd and I worked together on the Byrd Amendment, which says is that when a foreign country dumps into the US, instead of putting that money into the US Treasury when we fine them, we give that money to the US companies. Thatís brought back $315 million just for Ohio companies. But the bigger issue is, Sherrod thinks you can build a wall around the state of Ohio. [Yet] when it comes time to protect Ohio industries, heís not there.
BROWN: All of us were involved in [the steel issue]. Neither of those laws that he talks about are still in effect.
BROWN: I would renegotiate NAFTA, as I would renegotiate PNTR with China. Weíve lost so many small businesses, as these big companies outsource. And Mike DeWine has supported every time these trade agreements that give incentives to the big corporations.
DeWINE: When steel companies were dumping steel, we got tariffs. When a foreign country dumps into the US, we give the fine to the US companies. When it comes time to protect Ohio industries, heís not there.
BROWN All of us were involved in [the steel issue]. The problem is, those tariffs to protect the steel industry, they didnít last very long. Neither of those laws that he talks about are still in effect. But I want to see more trade. I just donít want one-way free trade where our biggest export is jobs to Mexico & China. I want fair trade, with more exports, not this free trade that causes the kind of job loss that weíre seeing. We simply have abandoned the middle class when we passed these trade agreements.
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