Sarah Palin on Free Trade
Republican Governor (AK); 2008 nominee for Vice President
This argument has been around for a long time. I remember back when I was studying the American economy in my high school history class, the late economist Milton Friedman had won the Nobel Prize in economics a few years earlier and he was all the rage. Friedman uses the making of a pencil to illustrate the power of human economic freedom--and the damage government can do when it steps in to replace the collective energy and decision making of free individuals: "None of the thousands of persons involved in producing the pencil performed his task because he wanted a pencil. No one sitting in a central office gave orders to these thousands of people. None of their differences prevented them from cooperating to produce a pencil.
The Calgary-based pipeline building giant TransCanada-Alaska had not only met every enforceable requirement, but exceeded them. We were ecstatic.
In Aug. 2008, we awarded the AGIA license. We had turned the idea of commercializing our natural gas from pipe dream to pipeline.
We're building viable personal use and commercial fisheries in some of the most controversial and complex fisheries in the world, dealing with half a dozen foreign countries, including Japan, Russia and Canada. We're establishing sustainable seafood stocks, and limiting salmon bycatch in the trawl fishery. We've increased research on salmon runs, and we're building new hatcheries for vibrant industry.
International trade is important to Alaska. Our exports grew more than 12% last year, and, for the first time, our annual exports topped $4 billion in 2006. We are helping our economy and economies around the world through trade.
In all our efforts, we will keep Alaska residents first. We will help Alaska businesses succeed in their key international markets. We will improve Alaska’s positive international relations with our key trading partners. We will help open new doors.
Education helps trade, too. International courses at our schools and universities help us excel in international markets. We must further prepare Alaskans for international investment and trade opportunities by encouraging education that includes strong workforce development for our high-wage energy and mining industries.
If applied to Alaska cruises the new interpretation would force cruise lines to significantly cut back their time in Alaska ports, pulling hundreds of millions of dollars a year out of the Alaska economy.
“The proposed rule interpretation, aimed at Hawaiian Coastwise Cruises, would be a dramatic and abrupt shift in policy,” Governor Palin said in a letter to the bureau. “Taking something that is working well and changing it--much less on 30 days notice--is not reasonable public policy.”
Alaska’s 10-year trend toward diversification of international seafood markets continues. Germany’s increased use of Alaska seafood is linked to the value the market places on health, food traceability, and fisheries management. The value of Alaska’s 2006 energy exports decreased 21.4 percent to $263 million.
“We not only have abundant and diverse natural resources, Alaskans also have the expertise needed to develop resources,” said Governor Palin. “When we think about exports and international relations, we also need to thank the Alaskans who work to promote the visitor industry and who work at the state’s international ports and airports.”
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