State of Ohio Archives: on Free Trade


Sherrod Brown: Trade agreements have sold out the middle class

When asked about voting for bipartisan foreign trade agreements, Brown said he takes "a back seat to no one when it comes to bipartisanship."

"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."

Source: Cleveland Jewish News on 2012 Ohio Senate debate Oct 15, 2012

Josh Mandel: Criticizes opponent for helping move jobs to China

Mandel said in a news release on March 1, "Make no mistake--Sherrod Brown is one of the main D.C. politicians responsible for Ohio jobs moving to China."

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.

Source: PolitiFact.org fact-check 2012 Ohio Senate race Mar 1, 2012

Lee Fisher: Trade agreements should be fair and enforced

On trade, Portman favors passing more trade agreements to increase Ohio exports and encouraging the Obama administration to get tough on China over currency manipulation. Fisher insists that trade agreements should be fair and accused Portman of not doing enough to enforce existing trade agreements when he served as President George W. Bush's trade representative.
Source: Dayton Daily News coverage of 2010 Ohio Senate debate Oct 13, 2010

Rob Portman: Pass more trade agreements to increase Ohio exports

On trade, Portman favors passing more trade agreements to increase Ohio exports and encouraging the Obama administration to get tough on China over currency manipulation. Fisher insists that trade agreements should be fair and accused Portman of not doing enough to enforce existing trade agreements when he served as President George W. Bush's trade representative.
Source: Dayton Daily News coverage of 2010 Ohio Senate debate Oct 13, 2010

Rob Portman: Served as trade representative under Pres. George W. Bush

The candidates challenged each other over jobs and taxes and who is best able to help revive Ohio's battered economy.

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].

Source: Business Week coverage of 2010 Ohio Senate debate Oct 8, 2010

Lee Fisher: More stringent policy: discourage companies moving overseas

Fisher sought to tie his opponent to the Bush administration, reminding viewers of Portman's service as budget director and US trade representative. Under Portman's watch, Fisher said, the federal deficit ballooned and Ohio lost 100,000 jobs to China. " It's time that Congressman Portman took responsibility for his role in helping cause this recession," Fisher said. Portman dismissed the jab as a partisan attack and urged Fisher to answer for the 400,000 Ohio jobs that have disappeared over the past 4 years during Fisher's tenure as state development director.

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.

Source: Washington Post coverage of 2010 Ohio Senate debate Oct 5, 2010

Eric Deaton: Free trade agreements have destroyed our economy

Q: Do you support the United States' involvement in free trade agreements?

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.

Source: Ohio Congressional 2010 Political Courage Test Aug 11, 2010

Lee Fisher: Make sure trade agreements export Ohio goods, not Ohio jobs

Lee has real experience trying to make foreign relations work to improve Ohio's economy. As Ohio's Director of Development, Lee oversaw 14 overseas offices tasked with creating export markets for Ohio products and bringing jobs to Ohio from other countries. Lee has met extensively with international business leaders to convince them to invest and reinvest in Ohio. He led an international trade mission on Ohio's behalf to Japan, and traveled to Russia to negotiate with one of the world's largest steel companies to invest in Ohio. Those discussions are continuing today. Lee's experience has made it clear that while international trade can benefit Ohio, we must make sure trade agreements export Ohio goods, not Ohio jobs.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, fisherforohio.com, "Issues" Dec 25, 2009

Mike DeWine: Tariffs against dumping steel, & give fines to US companies

Q: Would you repeal NAFTA?

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.

Source: 2006 Ohio Senate Debate on NBC Meet the Press Oct 1, 2006

Sherrod Brown: Supports fair trade; opposes exporting jobs

Q: Would you repeal NAFTA?

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.

Source: 2006 Ohio Senate Debate on NBC Meet the Press Oct 1, 2006

  • The above quotations are from State of Ohio Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Free Trade:
  Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)

Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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