COLUMBUS – A new report released today by Innovation Ohio analyzes U.S. Senator Rob Portman’s sudden change of position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), his long history of support for trade deals, and the economic impacts of that support on manufacturing jobs in Ohio. Despite current claims of opposition to TPP because it does not include protections against currency manipulation, Mr. Portman has previously supported 14 different past trade-related agreements with no such protections.
“Even though it’s April 1st, Ohioans should not be fooled by Rob Portman’s track record of support for trade deals that ship Ohio jobs overseas,” said Innovation Ohio President Keary McCarthy. “Throughout his long career in Washington, Mr. Portman has supported every trade-related deal that has come across his desk, and none of them included protections against currency manipulation.”
The Trans-Pacific Partnership would rewrite the rules for the sale of goods and services between the U.S. and 12 Pacific Rim nations. Past trade agreements with other North- and Central American countries such as NAFTA and CAFTA have adversely impacted manufacturing-based economies in places like Ohio. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that 323,308 Ohio jobs have been lost as a result of NAFTA and over 106,400 Ohio jobs have been lost as a result of China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization.
Currency manipulation is the practice by which developing countries artificially hold down the value of their currency to gain an unfair trade advantage and sell cheaper goods to more developed countries. China and South Korea are two of the world’s worst currency manipulators. As this analysis will show, Senator Portman previously voted for freer trade relations with both of these countries, and many others, without any protections against currency manipulation.