Political briefs – June 29



BROWN AND PORTMAN’S BIPARTISAN BILL TO STRENGTHEN TRADE ENFORCEMENT FOR OHIO STEEL COMPANIES SIGNED INTO LAW – Today, President Barack Obama signed into law trade legislation that includes the Leveling the Playing Field Act, a bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in March and cosponsored by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) that will give U.S. companies – like the steel industry – new tools to fight against unfair trade practices.

“Strong trade enforcement is key to giving American industries the ability to compete,” said Brown. “As this bill becomes law, we are one step closer to making sure our workers have a level playing field. This law will allow workers and companies to challenge the unfair practices that have stacked the deck against them for too long.”

“We must crack down on countries that break the rules, so our workers can get a fair shake in the global market,” Portman stated. “These measures ensure that Ohio workers can remain globally competitive by holding foreign countries accountable when they skirt the rules by illegally underselling or subsidizing imports. I’m pleased these provisions to help Ohio steelworkers are now law.”

ALG URGES CONGRESS TO DEFUND ANTIQUITIES ACT – Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Congress to defund implementation of the Antiquities Act:

“President Obama has bragged about his use of his pen and phone to impose changes that he wants whether Congress agrees or not. This threat combined with the President’s climate obsession makes it particularly important that Congress take action by defunding any future use of the Antiquities Act for Fiscal Year 2016 to prevent the unilateral taking of land for the purpose of removing it from legitimate resource development usage.

“It is incumbent upon Congress to prevent this President from continuing to take millions of acres of land off the public rolls in order to block energy development.

“Our nation is enjoying an energy renaissance due to efforts of entrepreneurs leasing private and state government lands, while energy development on federal lands has been in a decline due to Obama’s extremist agenda. Defunding the President’s capacity to extend and expand his anti-energy independence penchant in the House Interior Appropriation bill is a common sense approach to use the power of the purse to protect America’s energy future.”

BROWN STATEMENT ON EXPIRATION OF EXPORT-IMPORT BANK’S CHARTER –U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – issued the following statement on tomorrow’s expiration of the Export-Import Bank’s authority to issue new loans, insurance, and credit guarantees. Unless Congress renews the bank’s charter, export-related American jobs will be put at risk, and businesses in Ohio and nationwide will lose a critical tool for selling their products in the global marketplace.

“The Export-Import Bank is one of the most effective tools we have to help businesses in Ohio and across our country grow, create jobs, and compete in the global economy,” Brown said. “The Ex-Im Bank has long had bipartisan support, but it is now endangered by politicians and special interests that are putting extreme ideology ahead of our nation’s workers, exporters, and manufacturers. I will keep fighting to renew the Ex-Im Bank to ensure that American businesses aren’t put at a disadvantage to our foreign competitors.”

More than 350 Ohio businesses – including 226 small businesses – have received direct financial assistance from the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank to support $3 billion of exports from 2007-2015. In June, Brown released a county-by-county report detailing Ohio businesses that have relied on Ex-Im Bank funding over that period.

Last year alone, the Ex-Im Bank – which operates at no cost to taxpayers and actually generates revenue for the U.S. Treasury – supported more than $27 billion in exports and 164,000 American jobs. That includes more than $250 million in Ohio – more than 60 percent of which were transactions done by small businesses.

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