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U.S. Should Consider Trade Deals with China and Japan, Rob Portman Says

Posted December 14, 2016

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Bob Davis – Wall Street Journal)

With the Trans-Pacific Partnership in tatters, Sen. Rob Portman says the U.S. should consider negotiating separate trade deals with China and Japan.

“Right now we’re losing out” on potential exports, said the Ohio Republican, who was U.S. Trade Representative in George W. Bush administration. “We’d want an agreement that opens the Chinese market to our products in a fair way and we’d want to create more of a rules-based system to insure trade is fair.”

Sen. Portman has long experience with the economics and politics of trade. He came to prominence in Washington as a free trader, but has shifted over time to focus much more on blocking imports that damage domestic constituencies. In November, he parlayed his experience into a 58%- 37% thumping of former governor Ted Strickland, a longtime foe of free- trade agreements. Another trade skeptic, President-Elect Donald Trump, won the state by eight percentage points.

“Too many Republicans are afraid to talk about trade,” said Mr. Portman in an interview. Click here to read more.

Related: Ambassadors From Asia Plea for Continuity Under Trump Administration (Asia Society)