Brown and Portman: United on Trade?

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Brown and Portman: United on Trade?

Columbus Dispatch – Those who watch Sen. Rob Portman and Sen. Sherrod Brown on trade issues know that they’re usually on opposing sides. Portman, a Republican and former U.S. Trade Representative, typically supports free trade agreements; Brown, a Democrat who wrote a book on the damaging effect of trade on U.S. manufacturing policy, typically is not.

So that’s why it was slightly surprising to see both men sign a letter today to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk urging him to initiate a World Trade Organization case on China’s hoarding of rare earth materials.

The letter is a response to a recent ruling by the World Trade Organization that China was unfairly restricting exports of raw materials. That case did not weigh in on rare earths, but Portman and Brown say it should.

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