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Ohio's Sen. Brown Promises Trump his Support on a NAFTA Redo if it Protects Workers

photo of Sherrod Brown

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown says he can provide as many as two-dozen Democratic votes if the Trump administration’s renegotiation of NAFTA includes the right protections for workers.  WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on yesterday’s trade meeting.

Brown and Republican Sen. Rob Portman were among the members of Congress called to the White House this week to discuss trade negotiations, including the reworking of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Brown says he’s been in regular touch with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is from northeast Ohio. Brown is pushing for changes in NAFTA including Buy American provisions and an overhaul in the dispute settlement process. 

“If this renegotiated NAFTA is good for workers, and that means farmers, it means industrial workers, it means service workers, if this bill is good for Ohio workers, I will not just support it, I’ll be the first to support it. And I will bring, because I’m the leader on the Democratic side on trade, I could bring 20 to 25 members with me.”

Supporters of NAFTA say it has been a boon to Ohio agriculture. Sen. Portman – who was himself a trade rep – says he supports a modernization of the trade deal with Mexico and Canada.

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.