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Portman to Launch Making a Difference Tour Across Ohio


August 24, 2015 - 7:50 PM


WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) today announced that he will launch the Making a Difference Tour across Ohio. The tour will highlight good policies and focus on how to build on them to make a difference for Ohio families. Portman will begin his tour this week to nine counties, traveling over 1,300 miles. He will meet with Ohioans he has teamed up with to expand opportunities in Ohio and make good-paying jobs available to all, address drug abuse in our communities, and combat human trafficking. This tour follows up on Portman’s Jobs Tour earlier this month.

“Since taking office, I have fought to improve the lives of Ohioans who work hard and want a better tomorrow for their families,” Portman stated. “I’ve done this by teaming up with local stakeholders and all Ohioans who refuse to believe America's best days lie ahead of us to create a better future for our state. We’ve had success, but the work isn’t done, and I’m looking forward to highlighting policies that work and discussing how we can build on those ideas.”

Portman has successfully introduced and passed 31 bills, chipping away at his Jobs Plan to improve the lives of Ohio workers. During his time in the Senate, Portman has introduced over 170 bills, over 140 of which were bipartisan.

 

Day 1: Trade Enforcement Victory to Help Level Playing Field for Ohio Workers

On day one, Portman will visit with members of the United Steelworkers Local 207-L in Findlay to meet with workers and retirees of Cooper Tire to discuss his work to help them win a trade enforcement case that will protect Ohio jobs.

Last month, Portman applauded the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling in favor of the United Steelworkers’ (USW) trade enforcement case on unfairly subsidized and undersold passenger vehicle and light truck tires imported from China. Portman got involved with this case after meeting with USW workers from Cooper Tire earlier this year to discuss the challenges posed by unfairly imported Chinese tires that violate trade laws. Following that meeting, Portman urged the Administration to closely study this case.

Ahead of the ITC hearing on this case, Portman submitted testimony to support Ohio workers.  Portman’s testimony can be found here.

 

Day 2:  Combatting Human Trafficking

On day two, Portman, who serves as co-chair of the Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking, will host a Human Trafficking Awareness Event with Gracehaven at the City Life Center in Columbus. Gracehaven was founded in 2008 to address the huge need for rehabilitation for victims of domestic minor sex trafficking.

Earlier this year, Portman announced that three of his bills to combat human trafficking, the Bringing Missing Children Home Act, the Combat Human Trafficking Act, and the Ensuring a Better Response for Victims of Child Sex Trafficking, are now law.

These bills follow up on Portman’s extensive efforts to combat human trafficking. Last year, Portman’s provisions to protect children from violent criminals were signed into law as part of the Child Care Development Block Grant. Additionally, key provisions of Portman’s Child Sex Trafficking Data and Response Act, which requires state child welfare workers to identify and document victims of sex trafficking within the child welfare system, were signed into law last year. In December 2012, Portman’s bill to strengthen protections against trafficking in connection with overseas federal contracts, the End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act, was signed into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Bill.

 

Day 3: Combatting Drug Abuse and Helping All Those who have Fallen Beneath the Cracks

On day three, Portman will visit BRIDGES in Cleveland, which is part of the Drug-Free Community Coalitions in Ohio. BRIDGES receives funding through the Drug Free Communities Act, which Portman authored. Since enacted in 1997, the Drug Free Communities program has funded nearly 2,000 coalitions and currently mobilizes nearly 9,000 community volunteers across the country.

Portman will also address the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce and discuss his work to keep jobs in our state, increase wages, and to empower Ohioans to ensure that they have a better tomorrow.

 

Day 4: Connecting Ohioans with the Skills Needed to Obtain 21st Century Jobs & Protecting Ohio Workers from Unfair Competition from Foreign Competitors

On day four, Portman will attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of the Max Hayes High School in Cleveland. Portman, who serves as co-chair of the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus, will discuss his work to ensure that Ohio workers are equipped with 21st century skills. 

Last year, key components of Portman’s bipartisan workforce development legislation known as the Careers Through Responsive, Efficient, and Effective Retraining (CAREER) Act were signed into law as part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Portman will also meet with workers and tour AK Steel in Zanesville. He will also receive the American Iron and Steel Institute’s Steel Champion Award. Portman will receive this award for his work to help Ohio steelworkers through his Leveling the Playing Field Act which he authored with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and was recently signed into law. This bipartisan bill will give U.S. companies – like the steel industry – new tools to fight against unfair trade practices.

 

Day 5: Leveling Playing Field for Ohio Workers, Combatting Human Trafficking, and Facilitating Economic Development in Ohio

On day five, Portman will meet with union representatives and new management at Glatfelter, a paper mill in Chillicothe. Portman has helped Glatfelter on a trade case involving unfairly subsidized imports and recently welcomed the preliminary ruling from the U.S. Department of Commerce protecting Glatfelter jobs. The preliminary ruling covers countervailing duty margins, which are illegal foreign government subsidies on uncoated paper imports from China and Indonesia.

Portman also expressed strong support of the ITC’s preliminary phase investigations that found evidence that the imports in question are dumped at significant margins and that imports from China and other countries benefit from a wide array of government subsidies. That letter follows up on efforts last year to help other Ohio paper workers facing threats.

Portman will also visit the Ohio Christian University in Circleville to host a human trafficking-focused roundtable discussion.

He will also discuss his work to help OCU receive an economic development grant for its new Southern Gateway Economic Innovation Development Center. As a mixed-use incubator that will focus on agribusiness, logistics, and technology-based entrepreneurs, this public-private partnership project will help to bring entrepreneurial services to Fayette, Pickaway, and Ross counties.

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