While government is often a target for cynicism, providing stories of waste and causing wonderment about whom it helps, I offer a positive story about government working for all the right reasons, with no lobbyist or advocacy group to help, but rather the phone book as an entry.
I contacted Rep. Joe Courtney's office last year to vent about some unfair trade practices that were adversely impacting our business, and casting doubts about the future of some hard-working people in northeastern Connecticut. Ours is a manufacturing company working against the odds to compete in a highly competitive and sometimes on an unfair global playing field, trying hard to provide decent wages, benefits and hope.
Rep. Courtney and his staff were surprisingly accessible, interested in our issues and willing to work to help. In short order, we developed a strategy and an approach that would allow us consideration and inclusion in an upcoming tax bill.
Pen stroke speaks volumes
The resulting good news - and proof that it is possible for our government to actually work on behalf of the average person - is that on Aug. 11 President Obama signed into law the U.S. Manufacturing Enhancement Act, which contains critical tariff suspensions and reductions aimed at helping American companies grow and support further job creation, the very issue our company had been struggling with.
Who would have thought this possible? It began with a simple cold call from the Quiet Corner of Connecticut to the congressman's office in Washington, D.C. It concluded with legislation that will help companies like ours to be competitive and have a chance at surviving.
A tip of the hat to Joe Courtney from all the employees at Bollore Inc.
Editor's note: The writer resides in East Lyme and is president of Bollore Inc. in Dayville.