WARREN, OH —Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Warren Mayor William Franklin as well as Mahoning Valley businesses and workers as he promotes an economic agenda that works for Ohioans and protects American manufacturing jobs.
Mahoning Valley communities have been hit especially hard by economic policies that put corporations and special interests above workers and local communities. Brown met with Mahoning Valley stakeholders to outline how resetting U.S. economic policy can help grow the local economy and create jobs.
“Warren and the entire Mahoning Valley have been hit particularly hard by a corporate trade agenda that has sold out our industrial heartland,” said Brown. “If places like Warren are left behind, our entire economy suffers. If we aren’t fighting for these places, then we aren’t doing our jobs right. I’ve always stood up to Presidents of both parties to fight for better trade policy. And I’m going to hold this administration’s trade agenda to the same standard I’ve always used, no matter who was in the White House: does it put Ohio communities first.”
Brown, a long-time advocate for fair trade and Ohio manufacturing, has put forth several proposals to improve current economic policies, including:
- A four-point plan for securing the best deal for American workers in renegotiating NAFTA.
- A four-step plan President Trump should take as he pursues a 100 Day Plan on trade with China.
- A framework for rebuilding and repairing the nation’s infrastructure while creating millions of construction jobs. As part of the plan, Brown included Buy America language to ensure American infrastructure is built by American workers, using American iron and steel.
In May, Brown wrote to President Trump with a four-point plan for renegotiating NAFTA and securing the best deal for American workers:
- Secure Anti-Outsourcing and Buy America Provisions Up Front
- Don’t Pit American Workers and Industries against Each Other in Negotiations
- Build Enforcement Tools that Favor American Workers, Not Foreign Corporations if the Deal is Violated
- Include Workers in the Negotiations
Brown held a series of roundtables with Ohio workers to get their input on what the priorities should be for a renegotiated NAFTA. Brown spoke with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross as the White House reaffirmed its commitment to renegotiating NAFTA.
Brown also reached out to Trump insisting Ohio priorities be included in the Administration’s 100 Day Plan on trade with China.
In his letter, Brown outlined four steps to improve U.S.-China trade policy, including addressing China’s steel overcapacity and Chinese government subsidies for steel. Brown’s letter will urge Trump to:
- Demand China eliminate excess steel capacity
- Strengthen the World Trade Organization so China can’t cheat the system
- Insist that China drop its WTO case against the U.S.
- Don’t let China set the agenda – no Bilateral Investment Treaty until China cleans up its act
Brown authored the Leveling the Playing Field Act, which he worked with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) to pass into law in 2015, in order to give Ohio companies more tools when fighting unfair trade practices by China and other countries.
In January, Brown outlined Ohio infrastructure priorities as he joined his Senate colleagues in releasing a framework for rebuilding and repairing the nation’s infrastructure while creating millions of construction jobs.
President Trump promised $1 trillion of investment in American infrastructure during his campaign and Brown joined Senate colleagues to release a roadmap for making that promise a reality. As part of the plan, Brown included Buy America language to ensure American infrastructure is built by American workers, using American iron and steel.
Immediately after President Trump’s election, Brown reached out to his transition team to offer his help on retooling U.S. trade policy. Brown wrote to Trump in November offering specific steps to work together on trade and Trump responded with a handwritten note.
For the past five years, Brown’s office has teamed up with local manufacturers and plants, community partners and schools for the past five years to host manufacturing camps across Ohio. Campers visit local manufacturers, tour plants, and work with their peers on hands-on projects specific to their communities.
Brown was joined at the roundtable by Mayor Franklin, as well as representatives from the Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corporation, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Ohio Means Jobs Trumbull County, Kent State Trumbull, OH WOW!, Trumbull County Planning Commission, and local labor groups.
“The citizens of Warren and Trumbull County are a very proud people who don’t ask for a handout,” said Mayor Franklin. “They ask only for an opportunity to roll up their sleeves and do an honest day’s work in order to support their families and make a contribution to their community. As elected leaders it’s our duty to ensure that the policies that we put into place in our country are not detrimental to the very people that we represent. These are hard working men and women who have played a major part in building this country and deserve a chance to prosper from that work. I applaud Senator Brown for his tireless fight for the working people of our country and I stand beside him in his efforts to ensure that United States policies and trade agreements are fair and do not create competitive disadvantages to the people of the Mahoning Valley.”