U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) speaks to executives and members of the Board of Directors of The First Bancorp on July 21. PHOTO BY JENNIFER OSBORN

Poliquin talks banking and regulatory issues in visit to Ellsworth

ELLSWORTH — U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) met with executives and board members of The First Bancorp on July 21 to discuss banking and regulatory issues.

Poliquin is seeking re-election to the U.S. House in November.

Tony McKim, president and chief executive officer of The First Bancorp, told Poliquin that Maine banks need help guaranteeing loans for the biomass industry.

“We have to do something else and create an industry out of forest,” McKim said. “This biomass industry is big because everyone needs our chips.

“We need an SBA [Small Business Administration], a FAME [Finance Authority of Maine], to say, ‘Let’s take a chance on this industry’ to save our ports, to save our forest. This is one of the next big things for the state.”

In other business, Poliquin told the group that he’s working on a tax package that includes elimination of the federal “death” or estate tax.

“Maine still has one unfortunately,” he said.

“How many people do we see who say, ‘We’ll see you in six months and a day’” as they leave Maine, Poliquin said.

Mark Rosborough, who is on the Board of Directors of The First Bancorp, asked Poliquin about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s ability to work with others.

Poliquin said depending on who is in the White House, regulators are going to be more empowered.

“I’m not getting involved in this stuff, but I’m hopeful there will be someone we can work with,” Poliquin said.

“I’m not trying to dodge your question at all,” Poliquin said. “I just haven’t been a part of it. I’m not getting involved in this stuff, but I’m hopeful there will be someone we can work with.”

Poliquin told several stories during the 90-minute meeting, including one about the cost of doing business in the United States and Maine versus other countries.

The congressman used Wyman’s of Maine, which has a plant on Prince Edward Island, as an example.

In the United States, about 53 percent of a company’s profit goes to taxes compared to about 32 percent in Canada, Poliquin said.

“There are a lot of businesses that can move capital and work wherever they want,” Poliquin said.

The U.S. needs to work on national security, jobs, energy prices and health care, the congressman said.

National security is a big issue.

“When people feel unsafe, they don’t consume, they don’t invest,” Poliquin said. “You’ve got to stand up for law and order.”

Health care is another issue.

“When you have the federal government effectively taking over an industry, you have higher prices and fewer choices,” Poliquin said.

One executive raised her hand and said, “I need several hours of your time.”

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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