Portman Not the Answer for Romney


Now that Mitt Romney has secured the Republican nomination, the task of finding a running mate will be moving to the front of his priority list. Several names have been tossed around as potential candidates, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Texas Representative Ron Paul and even former rival Newt Gingrich. While none of these choices really suit the needs of the United States right now, there is one more frontrunner in the field that could be the most dangerous of all: Senator Rob Portman of Ohio.

Rob Portman is not only an advocate for more disastrous free trade agreements, but he also continues to support previous failed free trade endeavors like NAFTA and the WTO. His track record has shown time and time again that his allegiance is not to American businesses, but rather to multinationals and large corporations. Even in the face of the proven, massive job losses caused by NAFTA, the senator has delusionally maintained that the failed trade agreement has been good for Americans.

A former member of the House of Representatives, Portman has a long history of voting in the favor of job-killing free trade pacts:

  • In 2003 and 2004, he voted yes on trade agreements with Austria, Singapore and Chile
  • In 2005, he supported Central American and Dominican Republic free trade
  • In 2000, he voted no on withdrawing from the corrupt World Trade Organization
  • In 1998, he voted yes on “Fast Track,” a failed procedure that hastens the implementation of trade agreements without sufficient review

Sen. Portman also served as the U.S. Trade Representative for George W. Bush back in 2005 and 2006, when much of the groundwork was being laid for the South Korean, Colombian and Panama free trade pacts. When Bush picked him out of the House of Representatives, the president described Portman as having “a great record as a champion of free and fair trade.” Many out of work Americans now understand that free trade and fair trade are mutually exclusive, but President Bush was half right: Portman is definitely a champion of “free” trade, regardless of its actual cost to America.

Rob Portman’s regular practice of cutting tariffs and eliminating subsidies is handicapping and destroying American industry. This is exactly the type of decision making that the U.S. does not need right now. Mitt Romney’s trade policy is far better off without this dangerous influence, and so are the American people. There are enough avid free traders in Washington already, and the system is clearly failing the nation. Further empowering another free trade “champion” like Senator Portman would only mean that there is worse yet to come.

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