U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says he believes NAFTA should be saved, despite comments by President Donald Trump suggesting the U.S. should withdraw fromthe trade deal.
Portman says there are areas where NAFTA could be improved but he believes it would be a “mistake” to terminate the trade agreement.
“Most of our exports from Ohio go to Canada or Mexico, about 51 percent, and that’s of all the countries in the world. About half go to just those two countries. So we really want to keep those markets open for our workers, and for our farmers, and for our service providers.”
Portman believes the president’s stance is meant to remind other countries in NAFTA that the U.S. is serious about improving the agreement.
Portman also says he supports a pathway to legal status for Dreamers, the people brought to the U.S. as children and now enrolled in the DACA program.
The approximately 700,000 people registered under DACA face a March 5th deadline for Congress to act to allow them to stay in the country or face deportation.
Portman believes President Donald Trump will sign a bipartisan agreement on DACA that includes funding for a border wall.
“And I think that’s a compromise that Democrats and Republicans can agree to – in other words, DACA with a legal status, plus more enforcement, specifically at the border.”
Portman says he wants to see the DACA and border security bill passed by February 8th - which is when the Continuing Resolution passed this week expires.
He says a combination of additional physical barriers, surveillance technology, and more border agents are what the president is looking for in terms of increased border security.
In addition to his support for change in both NAFTA and DACA, Portman continues to tout the benefits of tax reform, citing the "bonus parade" as proof of its benefits.