Senate hopeful gets earful on Russia policies
GJ firm stands to lose money over sanctions, Gardner told
Jobs in western Colorado are at stake as President Barack Obama considers sanctions against Russia, executives at a Grand Junction company told Republican U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner on Friday.
Reynolds Polymer Technology Inc. does business in Russia that could be lost if Obama decides to levy sanctions to punish Russian leader Vladimir Putin, officials told Gardner.
“It would hurt us for (Obama) to put sanctions on,” Matt Houlihan, executive vice president of Reynolds Polymer said, noting that the day before the company reached a deal with a Russian customer for a $9 million job.
A large aquarium is being prepared for shipping to Russia in a separate sale, the shipping costs of which will run around $1 million alone, Houlihan told Gardner. “Why should we have to pay for Obama’s lack of good policies?”
Gardner is challenging Democrat Mark Udall, a first-term senator, in the November general election.
Sanctions, Gardner said later, could be a necessity.
“People are dying” in Ukraine in clashes with Russian troops, Gardner said.
“To me, the real story is how a failed foreign policy has impacts in places far from Washington, D.C., and Russia, in Grand Junction, Colorado,” Gardner said.
Reynolds Polymer, which manufactures aquariums and other clear structures from acrylic resin in Grand Junction and ships the finished products around the world, could get a boost from a change in the current tax structure, which penalizes companies that bring profits back to the United States, Gardner said.
That means, for instance, that $1 of profit earned in Thailand, where Reynolds does business, is best left there instead of returned to the company headquarters, where 35 percent to 40 percent of it would be lost to taxes.
Allowing the company to use those profits in the United States would make the company more competitive, Gardner said.
He noted also that the United States could take steps to loosen Putin’s hold on Ukraine and eastern European countries by exporting natural gas and lessening their dependence on supplies from Russia.
Gardner and Udall both have introduced legislation to speed up approvals of terminals for exporting liquefied natural gas.
His measure is before a House committee next week and could be before the full House in May, Gardner said.