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Government & Politics

Brown Reviews Action on National Security, Safeguarding U.S. Technology, Tariffs, and More

Sherrod Brown at Ohio military installation
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Senator Sherrod Brown, touring Wright Patterson AFB in August, 2017

It's been a busy week for Congress on issues impacting Ohio, from national security to the environment.  Ohio U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown spoke with WKSU about what lawmakers accomplished.

National security legislation and Ohio
Brown talked about the new National Defense Authorization Bill.  It deals directly with key national security issues, and authorizations for defense programs and installations. 

The senator, who is on the conference committee that reconciled the House and Senate versions of the bill, says among other things he worked on making sure there is necessary funding for the military installations in Ohio.

C-130 Hurcules flown by 910th
Credit YARS website
910th Airlift Wing, Youngstown, OH

“I looked out for a number of very specific things in Ohio,” said Brown. Those include Camp Ravenna in Portage County, the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, and the Mansfield airbase. “All of these are important for national security.  And all of these are important for or local economies.”

Securing U.S. technology in the global economy

Kent State chemistry lab
Credit Kent State University

One of the subtexts in national security is a concern that Congress is addressing in current legislation: the problem that some foreign countries are investing in American companies to get access to and steal advanced U.S. technology. Brown said a principle way of monitoring and controlling the situation is "… the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which is a group of senior federal officials that looks at all of these kinds of investment."  He added the defense spending bill updates and upgrades the committee’s authorization.

Securing economic competitiveness
U.S. trade relations are strained with a number of countries and retaliatory tariffs starting to appear and to hurt some American businesses and workers--particularly in the agriculture sector.  Brown has been a long-time advocate of trade protections for some U.S. industries.  But he said "…tariffs are a tool not a long term policy.  We need a long-term strategy where those tariffs are aimed at serial violators, like China and South Korea that have been repeated offenders in international trade law.  You need a balance you need to work with allies.  And the president needs to lay out a long-term strategy on where we go with these tariffs."

Lake Erie seen from orbit
Credit NASA / NOAA website
Satellite view of Lake Erie

Environmental security for the Great Lakes. 
We asked the senator about any new developments concerning protections for Lake Erie. Brown said  “We know that Lake Erie is by far the shallowest and most vulnerable.  We know President Trump tried to eliminate funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  We restored those dollars.  And that was done this week."