Opioid epidemic and growing local jobs

Sen. Sherrod Brown - Contributing Columnist

This spring, I hosted a series of roundtable conversations around the state on topics ranging from healthcare to job creation. While these roundtables produced lots of good discussions, two topics stood out: combatting the opioid epidemic and growing local jobs.

First, we know that the opioid addiction epidemic takes far too many lives and destroys too many families across Ohio.

One of the biggest culprits of the deadly overdoses on the rise in our state is the drug fentanyl. To prevent the flow of this deadly illegal drug into the country and into our Ohio communities, I have joined senators from both parties to introduce the bipartisan INTERDICT Act.

The INTERDICT Act will provide more resources directly to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), so that agents can scan shipments for fentanyl and other dangerous synthetic substances at the border, and stop these drugs from making it into our neighborhoods. Senator Portman is supporting this legislation, and I’m supporting Senator Portman’s STOP Act, which would work with my bill to keep fentanyl out of Ohio. Both bills have been endorsed by law enforcement.

In every community I visit, when the opioid crisis comes up, heads start to nod and eyes start to well up. I don’t think there is a community in Ohio that hasn’t been affected by opioid addiction.

While we work to provide the necessary resources for Ohio communities to combat the opioid epidemic, at the same time we must also work to strengthen local economies.

I’ve held roundtables with workers across Ohio to get their input and hear what future trade policy should look like. Using input from these roundtables, I sent a letter to President Trump outlining a strategy for renegotiating NAFTA to secure the best deal for Ohio workers. The plan has four key parts, including new strategies that the U.S. hasn’t used in past trade deal negotiations.

American jobs shouldn’t be up for negotiation, and American workers can’t be traded away as bargaining chips. By setting high standards, putting workers ahead of corporations, and refusing to compromise on outsourcing, we can create the best possible deal for all American workers.

One of my most important jobs as your senator is listening.. The best ideas don’t come out of Washington – they come out of conversations and roundtables across Ohio. Hearing what you are seeing in your communities – what’s working, what’s not; what new issues come up – will be critical to how Congress moves forward from here.


Sen. Sherrod Brown

Contributing Columnist

Sen. Sherrod Brown in Your Hometown

Sen. Sherrod Brown in Your Hometown