July 28, 2013

Washington Notebook: Trade official to tour New Balance

The visit of the U.S. trade ambassador comes at a critical juncture for Maine's footwear business.

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Justin Waring lays soles on shoes at the New Balance factory in Norridgewock in 2011. U.S. Trade Ambassador Michael Froman will visit New Balance's Norridgewock factory this week.

2011 File Photo/Shawn Patrick Ouellette

That puts the pair somewhat at odds with U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who -- unlike Michaud and Pingree -- serves on one of the two top-secret congressional Intelligence Committees that oversees surveillance activities. While Collins has said she believes more details of the programs should be shared publicly and with Congress, she says the program appears to have helped thwart dozens of terror plots.

Also this past week, the Senate Appropriations Committee on which Collins sits voted unanimously to order the State Department to work with Congress to set sanctions -- or penalties -- against any country that agrees to offer asylum to Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker.

King, an independent, has said he found it "unsettling" that the government was in possession of so much information but has also been critical of Snowden, saying he is leaning toward regarding his action as "treasonous" rather than as those of a whistleblower.


A Collins-backed measure to prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals during jury selection moved forward in the Senate this week.

Working with Democratic U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Collins succeeded in adding language to another appropriations bill that would prevent potential federal jurors from being eliminated during the selection process because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.


Finally, a little something for all of those numbers geeks out there.

The U.S. Census Bureau launched a new tool that allows users to look at demographic and economic statistics broken down by congressional district. The fact that Maine only has two districts makes for some easy but interesting comparisons.

For instance, most Mainers know that folks "from away" (as we non-Mainers are so lovingly called) tend to congregate in the southern part of the state. The Census Bureau's new "My Congressional District" tool -- available at www.census.gov/mycd -- bears that out.

In 2011, 70.4 percent of residents in Maine's 2nd Congressional District were born in Maine, compared to 58.4 percent in the more southerly 1st Congressional District.

Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at:



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