A Buy American Exemption: The Maine View with Candidate for Governor Matt Jacobson

“My vision is for Maine to compete and win in this new economy. We will build strong communities that attract jobs and families, providing choice and opportunity to our workers. We will create an economic climate in Maine that is world class and competitive with other states and the global economy.

Maine can be a place where hard work is rewarded with opportunity, where our children can realize their dreams and our people have hope. We have an extraordinary state and talented people. We should be doing better, and we have a responsibility to create a brighter future for the next generation.

Our jobs. Our families. Our communities. These are my priorities.”

Maine’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Jacobson

While our September 30th 90-Minute Special examined the impact of the Buy American Policy on the domestic as well as international economies at the highest level of political office, the question that remained is simply this . . . does an exemption translate into tangible business opportunities for Canadian-based suppliers in the US public sector market?

In an effort to answer this question, PI Window on Business is delving deeper into the issue from a front-line, real-world perspective that starts with the October 14th interview with US public sector expert, author, speaker and consultant Judy Bradt, and continues with my October 19th interview with Maine’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Jacobson.

Given it’s proximity to Canada one would perhaps consider Maine to be one of the States where a reasonable percentage of the 7 million US-based jobs are dependent upon an open trade agreement with its neighbor to the north.

However, and as Jacobson stressed in a June 2009 article, “We are on a path where there is a very real danger that we will be the generation that leaves [Maine] in a worse state than we found it. I can’t let that happen.”

Against this backdrop of legitimate concern for his State, can a balance between sustaining open trade with a foreign country while stimulating local business survival and growth be achieved in a time of economic downturn?

Tune in to the live October 19th broadcast through the On-Demand Player below:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Matt Jacobson

Matt Jacobson

About Matt:

Matt Jacobson is President and Chief Executive Officer of Maine & Company. Maine & Company is the only organization dedicated exclusively to business attraction and job creation in Maine. As its chief executive, Matt develops and executes business attraction and expansion strategies with businesses, state and local authorities and other stakeholders.

Prior to returning to Maine and joining Maine & Company, Matt was most recently Assistant Vice President, Sales and Marketing, at Canadian National Railways, based in Chicago, Ill. In his various roles at CN from 2000 – 2005, Matt was responsible for International and North America Intermodal sales and marketing, and a revenue budget of $1.1 billion

From 1996 -2000, Matt lived in Maine when he was President and Chief Operating Officer of the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad, headquartered in Auburn, Maine. During his four-year tenure, the railroad tripled its revenue, increasing corporate earnings by 65%. The railroad also attracted 23 new businesses to its line. Additionally, Matt and the Railroad made these accomplishments under the regulatory regimes of two Federal Governments, a Provincial government, three different state governments, and a workforce represented by 5 US-based unions and 5 Canadian-based unions.

From 1991 to 1996, Matt worked for the CSX railroad company in various executive capacities. During that time, he was stationed in Jacksonville, FL, Pittsburgh, PA, and in Boston, MA (with CSX subsidiary SeaLand Service).

Matt is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy (1984) and holds an MBA from Chapman University (1992). He was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, serving in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In addition to being an aircraft commander, he was an instructor and evaluator pilot. Matt served in the Air Force on active duty until 1991 and in the reserves until his honorable discharge in 2000.

When it came time to choose a permanent home with his family, Matt returned to Maine. Matt is married to Dr. Kemedy Kathryn McQuillen. Matt and Kate were married in Boothbay Harbor. A graduate of Bowdoin College and the University of Vermont Medical School, Dr. McQuillen is an emergency room physician at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. Matt and Kate reside in Cumberland and have two children, Hank and Maggie.

Matt serves on the Board of Trustees of The Park Danforth, the Board of Directors of the Portland Community Chamber and the Maine Biotech Association, and the Board of Advisors of Catch a Piece of Maine and The Maine Heritage Policy Center.

Matt is a Republican candidate seeking to be elected as Maine’s next Governor in 2010.

Matt Jacobson_logo_horizontal

Program Note:

Remember to tune in to the October 14th PI Window on Business Show when interview leading US public sector expert, author, speaker and consultant Judy Bradt.

Working out of Washington DC, Judy’s been covered by national media including SBTV, ABC Radio, the Financial Post, Fortune Small Business, and Entrepreneur Magazine. From 1988 to 2003, Judy was the top specialist in US government contracting at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC.

The focus of the Buy American series starting with the October 14th broadcast is to answer the question what does an exemption really mean from a local government perspective on both sides of the border.


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