Yesterday, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), a former U.S. Trade Representative during the George W. Bush administration, announced his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
According to Reuters:
Portman, from Ohio, said the Pacific trade deal fails to meet the needs of his state’s workers because it lacks an enforceable provision to fight currency manipulation and because of new, less-stringent country-of-origin rules for auto parts.
“I cannot support the TPP in its current form because it doesn’t provide that level playing field,” Portman said in a statement.
The announcement is significant because passage of the TPP will rely on broad Republican support and because Senator Portman’s credentials (as former USTR and member of the Senate Finance Committee who represents a traditionally trade-skeptic region of the country) have earned him a prominent voice on trade policy in Washington.