Indiana News

Former US Trade Rep Raps Obama for Fighting Colombian Deal

Portman in Indy to stump for McCain

8/12/2008

President Bush's former U.S. trade representative says the U.S. needs more international trade deals, not fewer.

Former Ohio Congressman Rob Portman visited the Indiana State Fair and held a pair of business roundtables in Indianapolis and Fishers on behalf of John McCain's presidential campaign. He argues Democratic criticism of NAFTA is misplaced -- Portman says it's created U.S. jobs, and faster than before the 1993 agreement.

Portman acknowledges some companies have been hurt by the deal, but says the problem isn't NAFTA -- it's a need for the government to offer better job retraining programs to get workers back on their feet. He criticizes Barack Obama for opposing a pending trade deal with Colombia, and for threatening to pull out of NAFTA.

Portman has been rumored to be on John McCain's list of potential running mates, but says he hasn't been asked for the financial information required as part of a candidate's background check, and doesn't expect to be.

"I'm happy to help him, here in Indiana and around the country, but he's got a lot of great choices," Portman says.
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