State of Ohio Archives: on Free Trade


JD Vance: U.S. companies struggle with unfair competition from China

JD moved back to Ohio in 2017. He has seen firsthand livelihoods devastated by job loss, addiction, economic turmoil and so much more. He stood up a business in Cincinnati and has focused on growing companies that create well-paying jobs. His business experience taught him firsthand that so many American companies struggle with unfair competition from China and from their own government, which often rewards multinational technology firms over Ohio small businesses.
Source: 2021 Ohio Senate campaign website JDVance.com Jul 4, 2021

Jim Renacci: Seeks balance between tariffs, free trade & fair trade

Q: Support President Trump's imposition of tariffs on Chinese steel & other products?

Sherrod Brown (D): Yes, for protecting steelworkers, but need long-term strategy. Also tax auto company foreign profits to give $3,500 discount to US-made cars.

Jim Renacci (R): Yes, but concerned about the negative impact on farmers. Seeks a "balance between free trade & fair trade."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Ohio Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Sherrod Brown: Tax auto company foreign profits; then discounts in US

Q: Support President Trump's imposition of tariffs on Chinese steel & other products?

Sherrod Brown (D): Yes, for protecting steelworkers, but need long-term strategy. Also tax auto company foreign profits to give $3,500 discount to US-made cars.

Jim Renacci (R): Yes, but concerned about the negative impact on farmers. Seeks a "balance between free trade & fair trade."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Ohio Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Sherrod Brown: Longtime critic of NAFTA; re-negotiate to help Ohio workers

Ohio Republicans and Democrats reacted with cautious optimism to a tentative agreement to update a trade pact between the United States and Mexico, an accord that could trigger more auto production in both countries. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio called the announcement an "important step forward."

"We still need to review the text of the tentative agreement with Mexico, but this is an important step forward," said Brown. "We still have a lot of work to do to bring Canada on board and write the legislation needed to make any deal a reality, and I will keep working to make sure every detail is right for Ohio workers," said Brown, a longtime critic of NAFTA.

Senate Republican candidate Jim Renacci, who is opposing Brown in the November election, praised Trump for "following through with yet another promise by delivering a fairer and more reciprocal trading relationship with Mexico."

Source: The Columbus Dispatch on 2018 Ohio Senate race Aug 27, 2018

Mike Gibbons: Support & expand free trade

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Support & expand free trade"?

A: Support

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Ohio Senate candidate Apr 24, 2018

Rob Portman: Push TPP to remove limits on US poultry exports

Portman joined a bipartisan group of 11 senators wrote a letter to the TPP negotiators on Jan. 15, 2014: "We are concerned about Canada's program that severely limits U.S. chicken exports. Despite ratification of NAFTA, Canada has continued to impose restrictions on imports of US chicken products. We urge you to work to address this long-standing, unjustified issue during the TPP negotiations, and to fully engage the other eleven participating countries to create true free trade for US poultry."
Source: 2016 Ohio Senate race: Letter from 11 Senators on TPP Jul 4, 2016

Rob Portman: Negotiated fast-track under Bush; but slowing it under Obama

Senator Ron Wyden [D-OR] has become the White House's chief congressional ally on free trade, helping Pres. Obama and the US Trade Representative push for a bill to streamline the passage of trade deals, alienating liberal activists. Wyden is even up against some key Republicans, including former US Trade Representative Rob Portman, who was once in charge of negotiating such treaties under Pres. Bush. Now a senator from Ohio, he's teamed up with Sen. Chuck Schumer [D-NY] to put fast track on a slower track by requiring treaties to include enforceable prohibitions against countries' suppressing their currencies to gain a competitive advantage--a move the Treasury Secretary warned in a letter would "likely derail" a Pacific trade deal. Steelmakers and automakers favor the Portman amendment, which he says he'll bring to the floor after it failed in committee. "It's about how to say with a straight face to the people who we're hired by, 'This is going to be good for you,'?" Portman said.
Source: Bloomberg News coverage of 2016 Ohio Senate race May 2, 2015

Ron Wyden: Key supporter of fast-track trade-promotion authority

Disapproval trails Ron Wyden these days. Over the past few months, he's become the White House's chief congressional ally on free trade, helping President Obama and the US Trade Representative push for a bill to streamline the passage of trade deals. That's alienated liberal activists in Oregon, his home state, who show up at the senator's public events flying a 30-foot-long blimp that says, "Ron Wyden: It's up to you. Don't betray us!"

In the Senate, [many Democrats] oppose giving the president "fast-track" trade-promotion authority, which limits Congress's ability to modify trade agreements the administration negotiates with foreign governments. "The answer is not only no, but hell no," Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said. His advice to Wyden: "Slow this thing down a little bit."

The fast-track bill would let Congress instruct negotiators what it wants out of a trade deal, but then stop lawmakers from tacking on any amendments when presented with the treaty for approval.

Source: Bloomberg News coverage of 2016 Ohio Senate race May 2, 2015

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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2020 Presidential contenders on Free Trade:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Oct 13, 2021