FACT CHECK: Josh Mandel Opposes Sherrod’s Bill That Would Stop Ohio Manufacturing Jobs From Going To China

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FACT CHECK: Josh Mandel Opposes Sherrod’s Bill That Would Stop Ohio Manufacturing Jobs From Going To China

JOSH CLAIMS: He wants to stop jobs from leaving for China and Sherrod Brown is one of the main politicians responsible for the occurrence.

THE TRUTH: Ridiculous. Josh Mandel opposes Sherrod’s bipartisan jobs bill that would crack down on China for unfairly manipulating its currency and costing Ohio jobs.

1. Politifact Ohio rated Mandel’s claim that Sherrod is sending jobs to China “Pants On Fire.” [Politifact, 03/20/12]

2. Sherrod Brown led passage in the Senate of a bipartisan bill that would create thousands of Ohio jobs by cracking down on Chinese currency manipulation. [Washington Post, 10/12/11]

3. Republican Senator Rob Portman supports and voted for Sherrod’s bill. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 03/02/12]

4. Josh Mandel’s campaign has said that Mandel opposes Sherrod’s China jobs bill. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 8/26/12]

Josh Mandel Is A Supporter Of Free Trade.  In a June 2012 op-ed published in The Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin wrote that Josh Mandel “is, like Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a supporter of free trade. He rattles off a list of big employers in the state. He contends that Ohio workers understand that ‘in order to keep their jobs, these companies need to find markets throughout the world.’”  [Washington Post, Op-Ed, 6/5/12]

Mandel Silent On Sen. Brown’s China Currency Bill For Manufacturers – Spokesman Said Mandel Wouldn’t Be Commenting On Issues Before The Senate.  In December 2011, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported “Mandel also would not give his opinion on a foreign trade bill promoted by Brown and supported by small Ohio manufacturers as well as Portman, a former White House trade ambassador. Brown’s bill would authorize economic sanctions against China if authorities found China manipulated its currency, providing its exports with an unfair pricing advantage. Some conservatives say punitive tariffs might start a trade war.  Asked about these issues, Mandel spokesman Joe Aquilino said that the candidate is not a Washington politician and, ‘consequently, for the next year we’re not going to pretend like he’s there and voting on every bill that’s introduced or that’s on the floor.’” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 12/24/11]

Mandel Refused To Take A Stand On Sen. Brown’s China Currency Legislation.  In March 2012, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported “Mandel previously refused to take a position on a foreign trade bill promoted by Brown and supported by small Ohio manufacturers as well as Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican and former White House trade ambassador. Brown’s bill would authorize economic sanctions against China if authorities found China manipulated its currency, providing its exports with an unfair pricing advantage. Some conservatives say punitive tariffs might start a trade war. On Thursday, Mandel did not say whether he supports the bill but said, ‘I think we need to approach China in a much more aggressive way. I think currency manipulation is an issue we definitely need to be discussing.’”  [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 03/02/12]

Mandel Indicated He Would Not Support Sen. Brown’s Bill To Crack Down On Chinese Currency Manipulation.  In August 2012, The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote “Mandel also shared his thoughts on foreign trade. He said he believes China manipulates its currency and that Democrats led by Obama have not done enough to stop the practice, which accusers say weakens American manufacturers’ ability to compete.  Mandel indicated that he would not have supported a stalled bill to clarify the right to seek punitive duties if a country like China manipulated its currency.  ‘We must be vigilant in taking them on and making sure they play by the rules. At the same time, my approach would be a diplomatic approach, not a legislative approach.’”  [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 8/26/12]

Mandel’s Claim That Sen. Brown Is Responsible For Jobs Moving To China “Turned Out To Be Ridiculous,” And Was Rated “Pants On Fire!”  In March 2012, Politifact wrote “This is about Josh Mandel.  But with your indulgence, we must tell you about Sherrod Brown first … Trade is Brown’s signature issue. He has voted against trade deal after trade deal — with South Korea, Panama, Colombia, Central America, Mexico and Canada and, most importantly here, China. So anyone who follows Brown had to appreciate a recent political jab by Brown’s Republican opponent in this year’s Senate election, namely, Mandel. Mandel, currently Ohio’s state treasurer, said in a news release on March 1, when he announced he was actively campaigning for the Senate:  ‘Make no mistake — Sherrod Brown is one of the main D.C. politicians responsible for Ohio jobs moving to China.’  Had Mandel just co-opted Brown’s best-known issue?  This would make for quite an interception and, in the game of politics, it deserved kudos. But we wondered: Can Mandel back up his claim?”  Politifact concluded, “It was bold. It was audacious. But put under a microscope, it turned out to be ridiculous, which is a requirement for heating up the Truth-O-Meter. Pants on Fire!” [Politifact, 03/20/12]