Rob’s Rundown: Week of August 3 – August 7, 2020

August 7, 2020 | Rob's Rundown

This week, President Trump signed into law Senator Portman’s bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act, landmark legislation he has pushed for years to protect and preserve America’s national parks. The law will support more than 100,000 jobs over the next five years by rebuilding critical park infrastructure to help address the more than $12 billion backlog in long-delayed maintenance projects at the National Park Service (NPS). The Restore Our Parks Act is a part of a broader legislative package, the Great American Outdoors Act, that addresses the deferred maintenance backlog across federal land management agencies and provides permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Portman delivered remarks at the White House signing ceremony praising the Restore Our Parks Act as an historic achievement. Later that afternoon, Portman took to the Senate floor to highlight the new law and the impact it will have on our national parks and economy. 

To address the ongoing stalemate on the next COVID-19 package, on Thursday afternoon Portman offered a common-sense proposal to extend for one week the $600 per week enhanced federal unemployment insurance (UI) supplement that expired on July 31st while negotiations continue. Portman delivered remarks expressing his disappointment after Senate Democrats rejected the proposal. 

Also this week, President Trump endorsed Senator Portman’s bipartisan Repairing Existing Public Land by Adding Necessary Trees (REPLANT) Act, legislation to expand funding for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to carry out reforestation projects in U.S. forestland damaged by events such as wildfires, drought, insects, and disease, while creating nearly 49,000 jobs over the next 10 years.  

Finally, Portman welcomed President Trump’s visit to Clyde, Ohio’s Whirlpool Factory on Thursday. Although he was unable to attend due to votes in the Senate, Portman highlighted his work with the president on responsible trade policies have helped protect jobs at Whirlpool and countless other manufacturers in Ohio and nationwide. 

For a more detailed look at Senator Portman’s week, please see the following:  

Monday, August 3, 2020 

Toledo Blade Editorial Board Praises Portman Effort to Solve Multiemployer Pension Crisis: “Portman is a Problem Solver, Par Excellence”

This past weekend, the Toledo Blade editorial board praised Senator Portman’s bipartisan efforts to address the current multiemployer pension crisis that threatens to eliminate the retirement security of millions of Americans, and impede the return of strong economic growth in Ohio, if no action is taken. Last week, on the Senate Floor, Portman discussed how the federally run guarantor of those plans, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, is set to become insolvent within five years, jeopardizing the retirement security of at least 1.4 million Americans.  

Last month, in a floor speech Portman underscored the need for any bipartisan multiemployer pension reform legislation to address both the immediate crisis with respect to the PBGC, and the longer-term structural issues that created the conditions for the persistent underfunding of multiemployer pension plans in the first place. In a recent op-ed for Barron’s, Portman emphasized that any solution to address the immediate crisis must involve a shared responsibility approach, with contributions from not just general public funds, but also employers and plan participants within the multiemployer pension system. The full editorial can be found here.

Portman Welcomes President Trump’s Visit to Clyde, Ohio’s Whirlpool Factory

Portman welcomed the news that President Trump will be visiting Clyde, Ohio’s Whirlpool factory. Since joining the Senate in 2011, Portman has fought on behalf of Ohio Whirlpool workers against unfair trade practices. Specifically, Portman has consistently worked to level the playing field for Whirlpool and its 10,000 Ohio workers, including the more than 3,000 workers at Clyde -- Whirlpool’s largest American factory. Portman released the following statement:      

“I’m pleased that President Trump will be visiting the world-class workforce at Whirlpool’s Clyde factory. Since I joined the Senate in 2011, I’ve successfully fought to level the playing field for Whirlpool’s workers to ensure they can effectively compete with their foreign competitors. Over the years, I’ve testified before the International Trade Commission four times to combat unfair foreign trading practices. 

“Unfortunately as Whirlpool won cases against unfairly traded washing machines, foreign trade cheats moved production to other countries to avoid paying the tariffs. First, production moved from Korea and Mexico to China and then to Vietnam and Thailand. This whack-a-mole approach was unsustainable, which is why I supported Whirlpool’s safeguard case to impose global tariffs on washing machines. In response to my testimony at the ITC, I was pleased that the ITC approved, and President Trump authorized, the safeguard in 2017, and since those tariffs went into effect Whirlpool has increased their investment in their workers and American production. I will continue to everything I can to ensure the jobs of hardworking Ohioans are secure during these uncertain times.”   

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

President Signs Into Law Portman, Warner, Alexander & King Legislation to Protect & Preserve America’s National Parks

U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Warner (D-VA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Angus King (I-ME) announced that President Trump signed their bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act, landmark legislation to protect and preserve America’s national parks, into law. The law will support more than 100,000 jobs over the next five years by rebuilding critical park infrastructure to help address the more than $12 billion backlog in long-delayed maintenance projects at the National Park Service (NPS). The Restore Our Parks Act is a part of a broader legislative package, the Great American Outdoors Act, that addresses the deferred maintenance backlog across federal land management agencies and provides permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. 

“This is a landmark moment in our efforts to protect and restore our national parks, and I applaud President Trump for signing this bipartisan bill into law,” said Portman. “The Restore Our Parks Act will help rebuild our national park infrastructure by helping to address the more than $12 billion backlog in long-delayed maintenance projects throughout our park system while supporting more than 100,000 jobs over the next five years. Now that this important legislation is law, Ohio’s national parks can start to address the more than $100 million in critical infrastructure improvements necessary across our eight national parks. I want to thank Senators Warner, Alexander and King for all of their hard work in getting us across the finish line.  As an avid outdoorsman, I appreciate the bipartisan efforts in the House and Senate to enact this legislation and I look forward to implementing this bipartisan law quickly.”

President Signs Into Law Portman’s Landmark Legislation to Protect & Preserve America’s National Parks

Portman announced that President Trump signed his bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act, landmark legislation he has pushed for years to protect and preserve America’s national parks into law. The law will support more than 100,000 jobs over the next five years by rebuilding critical park infrastructure to help address the more than $12 billion backlog in long-delayed maintenance projects at the National Park Service (NPS). The Restore Our Parks Act is a part of a broader legislative package, the Great American Outdoors Act, that addresses the deferred maintenance backlog across federal land management agencies and provides permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Portman released the following statement:

This is a landmark moment in our efforts to protect and restore our national parks, and I applaud President Trump for signing this bipartisan bill into law. The Restore Our Parks Act will help rebuild our national park infrastructure by helping to address the more than $12 billion backlog in long-delayed maintenance projects throughout our park system while supporting more than 100,000 jobs over the next five years. Now that this important legislation is law, Ohio’s national parks can start to address the more than $100 million in critical infrastructure improvements necessary across our eight national parks. As an avid outdoorsman, I appreciate the bipartisan efforts in the House and Senate to enact this legislation and I look forward to implementing this bipartisan law quickly.”

Portman, Bipartisan Colleagues Introduce Conservation Legislation to Protect Tropical Forests & Coral Reef Ecosystems

Portman along with Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Richard Burr (R-NC), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2020. U.S. Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Brad Sherman (D-CA) are expected to introduce the companion legislation in the House this week.

This legislation reauthorizes a program, known as a debt-for-nature-swap, that allows developing countries that meet certain criteria to be relieved of debt owed to the United States in exchange for protecting and preserving tropical forests and coral reefs. This legislation reauthorizes the program, which was first created in 1998, for FY 2021 through FY 2025, at $20 million per year. Since its inception in 1998, this program has helped protect more than 67 million acres of tropical forests, which has not only preserved native wildlife and ecosystems, but has also helped protect the environment by sequestering over 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of taking more than 11 million cars off the road. Coral reefs were recently added to the program through legislation authored by Senators Portman, Udall, Burr, Schatz, and Whitehouse, along with Representatives Chabot and Sherman, that was signed into law in January 2019.

“This bipartisan legislation takes significant strides to protect our natural resources for the next generation while strengthening ties with countries that could become significant economic and national security partners with the United States,” said Portman, Co-Chair of the International Conservation Caucus. “This is a common-sense and proven approach that has protected millions of acres of tropical forest from deforestation – one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions. I want to thank Senator Udall, Burr, and Schatz for their ongoing support of this legislation and urge my colleagues to join us in ensuring that our natural resources are protected and preserved for the next generation.”

Portman Praises Historic Achievement for National Parks at White House Signing Ceremony for Restore Our Parks Act

Portman delivered remarks at the White House signing ceremony for his bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act, landmark legislation to protect and preserve America’s national parks, into law. The law will support more than 100,000 jobs over the next five years by rebuilding critical park infrastructure to help address the more than $12 billion backlog in long-delayed maintenance projects at the National Park Service (NPS). The Restore Our Parks Act is a part of a broader legislative package, the Great American Outdoors Act, that addresses the deferred maintenance backlog across federal land management agencies and provides permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund 

A transcript of his remarks can be found here and a video can be found here

President Trump Endorses Portman's Bipartisan REPLANT Act to Create Jobs & Expand Funding to Restore America’s National Forests

Today, President Donald Trump endorsed Senator Portman’s bipartisan Repairing Existing Public Land by Adding Necessary Trees (REPLANT) Act, legislation to expand funding for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to carry out reforestation projects in U.S. forestland damaged by events such as wildfires, drought, insects and disease, while creating nearly 49,000 jobs over the next 10 years. 

To address the Forest Service’s reforestation backlog of 1.3 million acres and continued annual reforestation needs, the REPLANT Act removes the current $30 million annual funding cap for the Reforestation Trust Fund, the primary source of funding for USFS’s replanting needs, making an average of $123 million annually available for reforestation in National Forests. In addition, the REPLANT Act will direct USFS to quantify the backlog of replanting needs, reduce delays by expanding stewardship contracting, and encourage state and Tribal partnerships. Among other associated activities, reforestation includes planting tree seedlings on forests that are unlikely to regenerate on their own in order to reestablish native plants and ensure the health of ecosystems and wildlife that depend on forests. 

Replanting forests is an effective way to create jobs in rural America, support natural ecosystems and improve natural carbon sequestration. Estimates show that the REPLANT Act would help plant 410,000 acres, or 123 million trees annually, for a total of 4.1 million acres (1.23 billion trees) over the next ten years. That’s the equivalent of sequestering 75 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, or avoiding the use of 8.5 billion gallons of gasoline, in a decade.  

A transcript of President Trump’s remarks can be found here and a video can be found here

On Senate Floor, Portman Marks Historic Milestone for America’s National Parks

On the Senate floor, Portman praised President Trump for signing his bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act into law as a part of a broader legislative package, the Great American Outdoors Act, that addresses the deferred maintenance backlog across federal land management agencies and provides permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Portman has pushed for this landmark legislation for years to protect and preserve America’s national parks. The law will support more than 100,000 jobs over the next five years by rebuilding critical park infrastructure to help address the more than $12 billion backlog in long-delayed maintenance projects at the National Park Service (NPS). A transcript of his remarks can be found here and a video can be found here

On Senate Floor, Portman Highlights Common Ground Between Republicans and Democrats & Urges Bipartisan Cooperation to Complete Work on Next COVID-19 Package

On the Senate floor, Portman urged his colleagues to look to policy proposals with bipartisan support as the foundation for an effective COVID-19 Phase 5 rescue package that meets the challenges all Americans are facing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He believes negotiations should build on shared policy goals like bolstering the health care response to the coronavirus pandemic, providing tax incentives to support a safe and effective reopening of workplaces and the economy, supporting schools and other entities through increased funding for personal protective equipment and other preventative and safety measures, and ensuring the financial well-being of all Americans through another round of stimulus checks.  

A transcript of his remarks can be found here and a video can be found here. 

Portman Announces Nearly $1 Million in Federal Grants to Organizations in Ohio Providing Safe Housing to Human Trafficking Victims

Portman praised the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Ivanka Trump’s announcement of more than $35 million in federal grants from the Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs. The grants will provide six to 24 months of transitional or short-term housing assistance for trafficking victims, including rental, utilities or related expenses, such as security deposits and relocation costs. The grants will also provide funding to help victims locate permanent housing, secure employment and receive occupational training and counseling. Ohio received nearly $1 million of the $35 million split between two organizations providing safe housing to human trafficking victims, Ohio Cincinnati Union Bethel and Ohio Jordan Community Resource Center. Ohio Cincinnati Union Bethel received $500,000 and Ohio Jordan Community Resource Center received $497,661. Portman issued the following statement: 

These grants underscore the commitment of this administration to ensure that victims of human trafficking have the resources they need to rebuild their lives, and I want to thank Attorney General Barr and Ivanka Trump for their leadership on this issue. These grants will help victims and survivors in Ohio secure safe housing and gain the workplace skills necessary to reach their God-given potential. I will continue to build upon my SESTA law to ensure that no more women or children become victims of this terrible crime. Over the past decade we have made progress but there is much more to do both in the U.S. and in other countries to help end this scourge once and for all.”

National Conservation Leaders Praise Portman’s Bipartisan Law to Fund Maintenance Backlog at America’s National Parks

President Trump signed into law Senator Portman’s bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act, which will help rebuild our national parks infrastructure by addressing the more than $12 billion backlog in long-delayed maintenance projects at the National Park Service (NPS) and support more than 100,000 jobs over the next five years. The Restore Our Parks Act is a part of a broader package, the Great American Outdoors Act -- landmark bipartisan legislation to address the deferred maintenance backlog across the federal land management agencies and to provide permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Restore Our Parks Act would help tackle the more than $100 million maintenance backlog at Ohio’s eight national park sites. Portman introduced the Restore Our Parks Act with U.S. Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Angus King (I-ME) and has pushed for this bipartisan legislation to become law over the last several years. 

The national conservation leaders supporting the law can be viewed here.

At Hearing, Ambassador to Ukraine Nominee Praises Portman Provisions in Senate FY 2021 NDAA to Support Ukraine Against Continued Russian Aggression

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, the nominee to be Ambassador to Ukraine, Lieutenant General Keith Dayton, praised Portman’s provisions included in the Senate-passed FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as important to ensuring that Ukraine has the necessary lethal aid to defend against continued Russian aggression. The Senate-passed FY 2021 NDAA includes $250 million in security assistance for Ukraine to fund additional training, lethal and non-lethal equipment, and advisory efforts for Ukraine’s forces. In addition, the bill includes a Portman proposal to require DoD and DoS to develop a new, multi-year strategy to support the development of Ukraine’s military forces, increasing its capability and capacity and providing a resource plan for US security assistance. This report will better synchronize and prioritize future U.S. security assistance to Ukraine by identifying gaps and shortfalls that need to be addressed. Portman also highlighted bipartisan legislation he introduced last week called the Ukraine Security Partnership Act, which will provide security assistance and strategic support to Ukraine. 

For the past four years, Portman has successfully championed language in the annual NDAA that expanded U.S. military aid to Ukraine, while strongly encouraging the Ukrainian government to continue their efforts in eliminating corruption and continuing with much needed security sector reforms. These provisions helped build the primary statutory framework for U.S. security assistance to Ukraine, the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. In addition, he has repeatedly written letters, delivered multiple floor speeches, and pressed senior administration officials on the importance of providing meaningful assistance to help Ukraine stand up to Russia’s military aggression, and has praised its decisions to provide lethal assistance to the country. 

Excerpts of the hearing can be found here and a video can be found here.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Ohio Conservation Leaders Praise Portman’s Bipartisan Law to Fund Maintenance Backlog at America’s National Park

Earlier this week, President Trump signed into law Senator Portman’s bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act, which will help rebuild our national parks infrastructure by addressing the more than $12 billion backlog in long-delayed maintenance projects at the National Park Service (NPS) and support more than 100,000 jobs over the next five years. The Restore Our Parks Act is a part of a broader package, the Great American Outdoors Act -- landmark bipartisan legislation to address the deferred maintenance backlog across the federal land management agencies and to provide permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Restore Our Parks Act would help tackle the more than $100 million maintenance backlog at Ohio’s eight national park sites. Portman introduced the Restore Our Parks Act with U.S. Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Angus King (I-ME) and has pushed for this bipartisan legislation to become law over the last several years. These conservation leaders across Ohio lent their support to the legislation.

Portman Praises President Trump’s Visit to Clyde, Ohio’s Whirlpool Factory

In advance of President Trump’s visit to the Whirlpool factory in Clyde, Ohio, Portman said the president’s trade policies have worked for Whirlpool and protected Ohio jobs there. Since joining the Senate in 2011, Portman has fought on behalf of Ohio Whirlpool workers against unfair trade practices. Specifically, Portman has consistently worked to level the playing field for Whirlpool and its 10,000 Ohio workers, including the more than 3,000 workers at Clyde -- Whirlpool’s largest American factory.  He was instrumental in the president’s decision in 2017 to take action to protect Whirlpool jobs. Portman released the following statement:      

“While I am disappointed that I am unable to join President Trump today because of votes in the Senate, I’m pleased that he will tour Whirlpool’s Clyde factory and visit with the company’s world-class workforce. The president’s policies have worked to protect Whirlpool jobs and I’ve been proud to support them.  Since I joined the Senate in 2011, I’ve successfully fought to level the playing field for Whirlpool’s workers to ensure they can effectively compete with their foreign competitors. Over the years, I’ve testified before the International Trade Commission four times to combat unfair foreign trading practices related to washing machines, and each time that has been followed by decisive federal action that has protected these jobs. 

“Unfortunately as Whirlpool won cases against unfairly traded washing machines, foreign trade cheats moved production to other countries to avoid paying the tariffs. First, production moved from Korea and Mexico to China and then to Vietnam and Thailand. Leveling tariffs in such a whack-a-mole approach was unsustainable, which is why I supported Whirlpool’s safeguard case to impose global tariffs on washing machines. In response to my testimony, I was pleased that the ITC approved, and President Trump authorized, the safeguard in 2017, and since those tariffs went into effect Whirlpool has increased their investment in their workers and American production. I will continue to work with President Trump and his administration to ensure the jobs of hardworking Ohioans are secure during these uncertain times.”   

Portman Questions Acting DHS Secretary on Federal Coordination with State and Local Authorities to Help Mitigate Violence

During a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) hearing, Portman questioned Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf on federal coordination with state and local authorities that are currently dealing with widespread destruction and violence in some of the United States major cities. Portman also expressed his support for the work the Department of Justice is doing in Cleveland through Operation Legend and urged the Secretary to distinguish it from the efforts in Portland and to continue to coordinate with DOJ and local officials in Cleveland to ensure there is no confusion surrounding the roll-out of the program.  

In July, Portman spoke on the Senate floor and addressed the lawlessness that has erupted in cities throughout the nation and emphasized that the violence was undermining the cause of the peaceful demonstrators and further dividing an already polarized country. Portman also gave remarks highlighting the hurt and anger being felt across the country in response to egregious examples of police brutality against people of color. He emphasized the need to work together to address the long-standing racial disparities and injustices that continue to occur in our country. Portman strongly supports the right of those who are peacefully protesting and also made clear that those rioting, looting, and destroying businesses and other properties are co-opting the moment of pain in our country. 

Excerpts of the hearing can be found here and a video can be found here.

Portman Statement on Governor DeWine’s COVID-19 Diagnosis

Portman released the following statement on Governor Mike DeWine’s COVID-19 diagnosis today:      

“Jane and I were saddened to hear that Governor DeWine tested positive for COVID-19. We are hopeful that he will continue to have no symptoms and send our best wishes for a speedy recovery. I spoke with him yesterday about the ongoing COVID-19 response at the federal and state level and I’m certain he’ll continue to lead a strong and safe reopening of Ohio while following the proper protocols and quarantining at home in Cedarville. I hope everyone will support his recovery by continuing to do their part to slow the spread by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. I will continue to work closely with him to support our health care system, our schools, our local governments, our employers, and all Ohio families during the ongoing pandemic.”

Portman Applauds U.S. Department of Commerce’s Investment of $2 Million in CARES Act Funding to Boost Ohio Economic Development Programs Responding to COVID-19

Portman applauded the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration for awarding $2 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to five EDA Economic Development District organizations across Ohio to update economic development plans and fortify programs to assist communities in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. These grants comes from funds accessible thanks to the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Portman supported and was signed into law by President Trump. 

“The $2 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants announced by Secretary Ross is terrific news for folks across the state of Ohio,” said Portman. “These funds will help ensure that communities across Ohio have the resources they need to continue responding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I’m pleased to see this CARES Act rescue money helping local communities so they can continue to serve Ohioans as the state continues to safely reopen. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure Ohioans have the resources they need during these uncertain times."   

Senate Democrats Reject Portman Proposal to Extend Expanded COVID-19 Unemployment Insurance Benefits

On the Senate floor, Portman offered a common-sense proposal to extend for one week the $600 per week enhanced federal unemployment insurance (UI) supplement that expired on July 31st while negotiations continue on the next COVID-19 package, and Senate Democrats rejected that proposal.  Portman also discussed several ideas for extending the enhanced federal unemployment insurance benefit without creating a disincentive to work.  

A transcript of his remarks can be found here and videos can be found here

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

 

 

A plan to save the pensions

As the coronavirus pandemic and the coming presidential election are getting most of the attention of lawmakers and pundits in Washington, there are some looming crises that also require urgent attention. And none of these is more critical than the precarious state of multiemployer pension funds on which 1.4 million Americans depend for their retirement.

If you tune out the partisan din, you might be able to hear the voices of a few diligent problem-solvers in Congress. Among them is Ohio’s Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who took to the Senate floor recently to implore his colleagues to return to the bipartisan effort to enact reforms that will save these pension funds and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

The pension funds are in jeopardy because various trucking, construction, and other small companies that belonged to these multiemployer funds have since gone out of business without fully funding their pension liabilities. The money available for those companies’ retirees is running out.

This problem threatens the retirement benefits of about 50,000 people in Ohio alone.

And the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which guarantees these funds, is itself on pace to be insolvent in less than five years.

Without Congressional intervention to shore up these pension funds and reform the way they are run, benefits for retired workers will be reduced or cut.

Mr. Portman, with a long track record of reaching across the aisle and finding Democrats with whom he can collaborate, called upon his colleagues to return to the negotiations that came close to solving the issue last year when he worked with Ohio Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown and Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley.

Mr. Brown, likewise, has made the pension problem a priority in recent years, introducing the Butch Lewis Act last year to create a loan program to help the multiemployer pension funds to meet their obligations.

Democrats generally favor a federal bailout for the funds, while Republicans support a partial bailout paired with a plan to require more contributions from pension plan participants. Certainly, as Mr. Portman has said, there is a bargain to be made here.

This is a problem that earnest lawmakers who want to work together can solve.

And, as the senator has urged, the work should not stop there. Congress must take up broader, long-term structural reforms to ensure that these pension funds don’t end up in the same underfunded state again a few years down the road.

Problem-solvers, especially bipartisan ones, are hard to find in Washington these days. But level-headed, serious legislators who can hammer out a solution for the country’s ailing pension funds are what the nation needs.

Senator Portman is a problem solver, par excellence.

Wheeling News & Weather | Wheeling, WV | WTRF

Sen. Portman talks protecting manufacturing jobs, President’s trip to Ohio

President Trump wished Governor Mike DeWine well on Thursday before his trip to the Whirlpool plant in Clyde, Ohio.

Ohio’s Senator Rob Portman said he’s glad to see the President visiting what he called the largest washing machine plant in the world.

Senator Portman sited tariffs put in place both during the Obama and Trump administrations to protect those jobs.

“We started to see that foreign washing machines were coming into America unfairly. In other words, they were sold below their cost, which is dumping, and they were subsidized by these foreign governments and trying to take away our market share and take away our jobs.”

He said both he and fellow Senator Sherrod Brown (D – Ohio) have worked to make sure foreign washing machines and other goods weren’t coming into the country unfairly at a lower cost, taking away those jobs.

Senator Portman added they also worked with the Trump Administration specifically to add additional global safeguards to keep countries from moving manufacturing operations from one country to another, avoiding the tariffs.

“We just gotta be in my view more aggressive about that because America’s got relatively low tariffs. We’re pretty open to having exports come in, but we’ve gotta make sure they’re fairly traded. If that happens, we’ll be ok. You know, we know how to make things in Ohio. You know we can be efficient.”

Senator Portman added that he wants to continue protecting other manufacturing jobs with steel and tire production in the state.

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