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This week’s edition!

Governor’s Address: Maine products add to economy, provide good jobs

Maine-made products are known for quality.

Dear Maine Taxpayer,

We have hundreds of products made in Maine, and our economy benefits greatly from Maine ingenuity.

Our Maine farmers are the stewards of 1.25 million acres, and the industry has a $1.2 billion impact on the state’s economy.

Maine’s commercially harvested marine resources topped $700 million in overall value in 2016, and that reflects yet another all-time high and an increase of nearly $100 million in value over 2015.

Mainers should take great pride in the success of all of our industries. Farming, fishing and logging are three of our most successful industries. Through the years, the hard-working men and women have established Maine as a leader in the responsible management of our land.

Logging has a major impact on our economy. The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine estimates that forest products contributed about $9.8 billion in output to the state’s economy in 2014. It employed some 16,551 people directly and was responsible for 38,151 jobs in total.

Recently, I visited Washington D.C. to promote our blueberry, lobster and logging industries.

When I spoke with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, I explained the importance of our lumber trade back and forth between Maine, Quebec and New Brunswick. These companies own mills and forest property on both sides of the border, and federal tariffs complicate our lumber trade because the closest manufacturing infrastructure may be across the border in another country.

I understand the need for tariffs on softwood coming from places like British Columbia, which provides about half of the lumber imported into the U.S. But Maine and the Maritime Provinces are in a very different position than the states in the Northwest.

These issues have a direct impact on our way of living and the Maine economy as a whole. I am hopeful the Trump Administration will understand this.

This week, President Donald J. Trump will celebrate “Made in America” week. He’s doing this to honor workers and companies who make “Made in America” the world standard for quality and craftsmanship.

Like here in Maine, where I am proud of our products and the people who make them, he is proud of our working men and women.

The American economy is strong, and I am pleased to say the Maine economy is, too. I want to thank our small business owners who make up the majority of businesses in our state. You are the ones who keep the business in the family through generations, hire from within your communities and expand as you grow.

It is my job as your Governor to advocate for you—to lower taxes and get rid of red tape—so you can thrive and prosper. It’s not only my job, it’s my passion to help you and all Mainers live the American Dream.

Thank You,

Paul R. LePage

Governor

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