Creating fair trade agreements
Too often our "Free Trade Agreements" are not "Fair Trade Agreements." We would never exempt a state from environmental, labor, and workplace regulations, so why should we exempt foreign countries, while allowing them to export their products to the U.S.? While I do not believe that every trade partner should be subject to our specific regulations, I do believe that they should have basic protections for their workers and reasonable environmental safeguards. This would create a more level playing field for our businesses to compete.
Reducing Regulatory Burdens
The federal government does not create jobs, the private sector does. However, the government can be either a barrier or a partner in supporting the private sector to create and sustain jobs. Developing partnerships to grow the economy are a priority as is reducing onerous regulatory burdens so that Maine's small businesses can thrive.
Providing rural broadband
Young people will not start businesses or even choose to live in the parts of Maine that do not have high-speed internet. High-speed internet is as necessary an infrastructure for success in today's world as roads and bridges. With high-speed internet, a person living in Milo can sell their products to a buyer in South Korea. Lack of high-speed internet in rural areas is an economic death sentence. The Three-Ring Binder was the first step - we must now bring true high-speed connectivity to the doorstep of all households and businesses in Maine.
Expanding markets for fishing, forestry, and agriculture
I have met with stakeholders from our heritage industries to learn about their concerns and to work with them to find solutions to stabilize and expand these important industries. Maine is blessed with a diverse economy that has supported citizens for generations. Our challenge now is finding the nexus between technological advancements and the heritage industries like fishing, forestry, and agriculture - this, combined with rural broadband, can be important in moving all of Maine into the future.