Political briefs – July 15

Staff report



Staff report


BROWN STATEMENT ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION’S POSITIVE DETERMINATION IN UNITED STEELWORKERS CASE AGAINST SUBSIDIZED CHINESE IMPORTS – Following the International Trade Commission’s (ITC) final determination that China injured the U.S. tire industry by unfairly subsidizing tire prices, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement:

“Today’s decision shows our steelworkers – like those at Cooper Tire in Findlay – that the U.S. government will take action when other countries don’t play by the rules,” said Brown. “When countries like China subsidize their tires to gain an unfair advantage over the U.S., American workers pay the price. But when we have a level playing field, our workers can compete against anyone.”

Brown testified at the ITC in June in support of the United Steelworkers (USW), including 1,000 members of USW Local 207L who work at Cooper Tire in Findlay. In June 2014, Brown urged the Department of Commerce to take up the case after the USW filed its petition asking that antidumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) be levied against passenger vehicle and light truck (PVLT) tires from China. A month later, the Department of Commerce agreed to investigate the case, and the ITC determined that there was a reasonable indication that imports of passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China posed a threat of injury to the U.S.

IRAN NUKE DEAL MAKES WAR MORE LIKELY – Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement condemning the Iran nuclear deal:

“Congressional Republicans tied their own hands in any upcoming attempt to stop the Iran nuclear deal earlier this year when they chose to pass legislation by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) that turned the normal treaty ratification process on its head by requiring a veto override of two-thirds votes in both houses in order to stop the deal rather than the Constitutionally required two-thirds majority in the Senate for ratification. By creating this much more difficult bar for rejection, Congress inadvertently allowed President Obama to negotiate away any real pretense that Iran will be stopped from getting the bomb, because he no longer feared Senate rejection.

“This concern is being realized around the world as nobody believes that this deal will stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Saudi diplomats are already saying that the deal green lights initiating their own nuclear programs, not for peaceful energy, but for military weapons. Israel has condemned the deal. What does it say when our top allies in the region think this is a bad deal, and that there is now a nuclear arms race in the Middle East?

“The Obama Iranian deal makes proliferation in the region inevitable and, as a result, war more likely, not less. Nuclear non-proliferation, U.S. interests, and our allies interests have all suffered a severe setback today. It makes it much more likely that we will have a nuclear terrorist attack on U.S. soil, and that we will face a new reality as Iranian allies like Venezuela become nuclear threats. The world is less safe, and if Congress fails to defeat this deal, they will have nobody but themselves to blame. After all, with the Corker bill, they ignored warnings from Senator Tom Cotton and effectively made disapproving the deal a near impossibility.”

PORTMAN APPLAUDS ITC RULING – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a former U.S. Trade Representative, applauded the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling in favor of the United Steelworkers’ (USW) trade enforcement case on passenger vehicle and light truck tires imported from China. Portman submitted testimony to the body in June stating, “the increases in Chinese imports came at the direct expense of our domestic tire industry.” He urged a close examination of the case to help level the playing field for Ohio tire workers to compete and win.

“I applaud today’s ruling to level the playing field for Ohio workers,” Portman said in reaction to the ruling. “As we seek to expand ‘Made in America’ exports to countries all over the globe, it is especially important that we ensure our foreign competitors follow our trade laws in order to protect Ohio workers.”

Portman joined U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) in an op-ed featured in The Hill calling on the ITC to act to stop China’s predatory tire trade practices.

BROWN INVITES OHIOANS TO APPLY FOR NOMINATION TO U.S. SERVICE ACADEMIES – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today encouraged Ohioans to seek nomination from his office to U.S. Military Service Academies for 2016 admission. Brown’s office will begin accepting applications on August 1, 2015.

“Ohio’s students have the integrity, courage, and knowledge needed to enroll in our nation’s prestigious military academies and I am honored to nominate students for this high honor,” said Brown. “These academies develop the next generation of leaders who will serve our country as military officers and national leaders.”

Each year, Brown nominates up to 10 students for each service academy requiring congressional recommendations: the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the Merchant Marine Academy.

Student applicants are reviewed by a committee of active and retired military and community leaders appointed by Brown. Selected students are provided with the required congressional recommendation upon applying for admission.

Interested students who meet the eligibility requirements should mail their completed application packet to reach Brown’s Cleveland office no later than September 23, 2015.

For more information or to request an application, please visit Brown’s website here. Inquiries can also be directed to Brown’s Academy Coordinator at the Cleveland office (888) 896-6446.

BILL INTRODUCED TO STREAMLINE PATIENT ACCESS TO MEDICAL DEVICES – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) introduced legislation to increase patient access to medical devices by removing government red tape. The Accelerating Innovation in Medicine (AIM) Act, authored by Portman and Heinrich, will streamline access to medical devices by giving patients the option to self-pay rather than going through the time-consuming Medicare coverage process. It will also allow doctors to present patients with more choices when deciding on the best care for them.

“The current medical device process is cumbersome and limits access to innovative devices and procedures for seniors who are willing to pay out of pocket,” said Portman. “Our bill simply allows seniors to take government out of the equation by purchasing these devices themselves rather than through Medicare. Ultimately, it will help to ensure patients and physicians have access to the most innovative medical technologies.”

“This bill helps ensure doctors and patients have access to the latest innovative medical technologies,” said Heinrich. “Streamlining the process for patients to purchase FDA-approved medical devices enhances treatment options in the short term, and has the potential to improve health outcomes, yielding long-term benefits for seniors.”

AMENDMENT TO INCREASE COLLEGE ACCESS FOR LOW-INCOME STUDENTS – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) applauded passage of their amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization that will encourage greater college access for low-income students by allowing them to earn college credits in high school. By providing students the opportunity to simultaneously pursue a high school diploma while earning college credits tuition-free, early college high schools and dual and concurrent enrollment programs improve secondary and postsecondary outcomes for students.