Late yesterday (May 22, 2015), Senator Rob Portman was clear whose side he is on, and it is not the Ohio worker. Senator Portman voted to “Fast-Track” another trade deal, this time it is the Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement, which will be negotiated in secret and without Congressional input.Trade should be a good thing for all parties, however, going back to NAFTA, these type of trade deals have devastated Ohio’s manufacturing sector and cost us our middle-class jobs and way of life. TPP passed 62-37.
Over the last decade, 60,000 factories have closed in the United States, and in Ohio we witnessed the loss of 320,000 manufacturing jobs. Couple that with the U.S. global trade deficit growing last year to $505 billion and, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Ohio’s global import/export deficit for commodities increased in 2014 to $18 billion — up from $16 billion in 2013. We are, in fact, falling deeper in deficit.
Despite receiving thousands of phone calls, hand-written letters and emails from hard-working and retired Ohioans, Portman voted against the interest of Ohio’s workers and in favor of speeding through a trade bill that covers 40% of the world’s economy.
Please click here to contact Senator Portman and tell him he should have stood up for Ohio’s workers and manufacturing, not mega-corporations and the investor class.
I want to personally thank Senator Sherrod Brown for not just voting NO yesterday, but for leading the fight in the Senate to have trade work for all and Sen. Brown spent countless hours touring the state with myself and holding public forums and press events to ensure Ohioans understand the devastating effects another secret trade agreement can have on Ohio’s economy.
“Instead of getting this bill done by Memorial Day, we should get it done right. We should not vote on fast track without debate on amendments that would stand up for workers and manufacturers against unfair foreign trade practices’” said Brown after Portman’s vote to end all debate. “Fast track authority hasn’t been debated in 13 years and this bill will allow expedited consideration of the largest trade agreement we’ve ever negotiated. More than 200 amendments have been filed by 46 senators, yet we’ve only voted on two. With American jobs and more than 60 percent of the world’s economy on the line, we need to get this right. That means passing my Leveling the Playing Field legislation, which would give American industry new tools to fight back against unfairly traded imports, and it means passing our amendment to crack down on countries that manipulate currency to give their exports an advantage over American-made products.”
Once out of the Senate, there is a likelihood the House of Representatives will move quickly, possibly going to a vote the first week of June. Please click here to find your Congressperson and urge them to vote NO on Fast Track of TPP and stand up for Ohio’s workers.