WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference call as he continues his work with the Trump Administration to build a new trade agenda that puts workers first. Yesterday, Brown, along with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), met with the President at the White House. Brown discussed steel and trade priorities raised by workers and industries at roundtable discussions he has hosted across Ohio.
“President Trump and I agree that we need to enforce our trade laws and crack down on cheaters. We just saw the benefits of strong trade enforcement through the President’s decision in the Whirlpool case, which created 200 good jobs in Ohio. Now we must take the same approach on steel to provide real relief for Ohio steelworkers, and the best way to do that is by taking swift action in the steel 232 case,” said Brown. “I’ll continue working with Ambassador Lighthizer and this Administration on NAFTA renegotiation. We can get a better deal for Ohio workers, and if we do, I will help the President get the votes it needs to pass.”
Earlier this month, Brown hosted a series of roundtables with workers and industries across Ohio, and he shared what he learned in those conversations with President Trump at the White House Tuesday.
- At the meeting, Brown urged President Trump again to take action on the Commerce Committee investigation into steel imports, known as “232.”
- Brown also urged the President to continue renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Ohio priorities in mind. Brown has given the President a four point plan for NAFTA renegotiation. And the Senator committed to help the President get the votes needed to pass a new NAFTA through Congress if it puts workers first.
- Brown also thanked the President for answering his and Sen. Portman’s calls to take action against illegal competition for foreign washing machine manufacturers earlier this year. Because the Administration answered the Senators’ calls, the Whirlpool plant in Clyde, Ohio, announced it would be able to create 200 new jobs.
Brown has been working with U.S. Trade Rep. Bob Lighthizer for months. Brown will meet with the Canadian Foreign Minister today to continue discussions on NAFTA.
Brown was joined on today’s call by Allyson Murray, a former worker at Autolite in Fostoria, which recently announced its plan to close despite promises that NAFTA would mean more jobs. Murray, who now serves as the North Baltimore Village Administrator, participated in a roundtable discussion with Brown on NAFTA earlier this month.
“NAFTA created a ripple effect that impacted entire communities that historically had a solid foundation in manufacturing. After participating in the Roundtable Discussion with Senator Brown I am confident that NAFTA can be ‘re-tooled,’ so to speak, and have a positive effect for American workers,” said Murray.
Immediately after President Trump’s election, Brown reached out to his transition team to offer his help in retooling U.S. trade policy. Brown wrote to Trump in November 2016 offering specific steps to work together on trade and Trump responded with a handwritten note. Since then, Brown has been engaging the President and top trade officials, including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to fight for Ohio priorities.