Senate hopeful gets earful on Russia policies

GJ firm stands to lose money over sanctions, Gardner told

U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner



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.


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Gary Harmon’s timely report – “Senate hopeful gets earful on Russia policies” – exposes the fatuousness if Cory Gardner’s policy positions.

First, “jobs have been at stake in western Colorado” since President Obama’s “American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” (the “Stimulus”) expired in 2010.

Since then, House “TeaPublicans” – including Gardner – have refused to even vote on the “American Jobs Act of 2011” (and 2013), preferring to waste their time on 51+ votes to repeal “ObamaCare”, to twice threaten default on the National Debt, and to shut down the government in a fit of ideological pique.

Second, it is disingenuously cynical to blame “Obama’s lack of good policies” for the risk posed to Reynolds’ profits by economic sanctions imposed on Russia, when the need for sanctions was precipitated by Vladimir Putin – with whom Reynolds apparently still wants to do business, despite his aggression in the Crimea and Ukraine in violation of the United Nation’s charter and international norms established by two bloody World Wars.

To Gardner’s credit, he later opined that “sanctions could be a necessity” because “people are dying in Ukraine – perhaps hearkening to “NeoCons’” calls for military involvement, which could disrupt Reynolds’ exports even more than sanctions. 

President Obama has deployed elements of the 173 Airborne Brigade Combat Team to NATO allies Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, and sent additional naval assets to the Black Sea, while NATO is “ramping up” for military action in Ukraine.

Apparently, Gardner also supports allowing U.S. companies – like Reynolds – to avoid paying U.S. taxes on profits left offshore, while refusing to close the loophole that allows U.S. companies shipping American jobs overseas to expense the entire cost of doing so.

Meanwhile, it will take three to five years for American liquefied natural gas to reduce Europe’s dependency on Russian supplies.

Re-elect Mark Udall!

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