Larsen talks Trump during visit to Northwest Docks

Feb 1, 2017 Issues: Jobs Labor and the Economy

Go Anacortes: Larsen talks Trump during visit to Northwest Docks

By Joan Pringle

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen said wherever there is common ground with the new Trump administration, he plans to work together. However, where there isn’t, he intends to stand his ground.

“I expect I’ll be standing my ground a lot during this administration,” he said.

Larsen made the comments during a tour last week of Northwest Docks, an Anacortes company in the industrial area near Fidalgo Bay. The company builds custom aluminum docks, bridges and gangways with 12 employees.

Owner Jim Guy said he was a Democrat and probably one of only a few Larsen would find in manufacturing, adding that his company’s products were eco-friendly because of the material and their durability.

Guy initiated Larsen’s trip on Jan. 27 by contacting his office the day after the election and asking for a visit.

When asked about controversies already surrounding the Trump Administration, Larsen said he will focus on issues important to him, such as the Affordable Care Act, as will other representatives.

“You can’t play whack-a-mole with this administration,” Larsen said. “And you can’t chase the rabbit down the rabbit hole.”

On paper, Larsen said the ACA is repealed. But there are thousands of steps that need to be taken for it to actually disappear — and plenty of opportunities to spare it, he said.

In Washington state alone, the act has helped 537,000 people gain insurance, according to a press release from his office. Larsen has been collecting stories during a seven-stop tour of his District 2 on what effects a repeal of the act would have.

Whatever plan Republicans come up with will have to meet certain standards regarding the number of people covered, the quality of the insurance and the costs, he said.

The Affordable Care Act is now the standard others must be held against, he said.

In response to Trump indicating torture could again be used against U.S. enemies, Larsen said the idea was disgusting. And it was a low point in history for the country when it was used in the mid-2000s, he said.

“I think we can fight him on it,” he said.

During Larsen’s visit, Northwest Docks was working on a gangway for the Rosario Resort and Spa on Orcas Island.

Guy told the congressman that he hopes to start work soon on 100-foot aluminum towers going to Mexico City for work being done at the airport there. The towers would be used by American Piledriving Equipment of Kent for wick drain drivers that drain moisture from the soil.

One tower had already been delivered, and Guy had hoped to have a deal for six more already finalized. Last week he had concerns of it still happening because of questions surrounding the Trump administration and what it will do about exports to Mexico.

Northwest Docks has operated in Anacortes for six years. About a year and a half ago, it moved into the former San Juan Yachts building on 34th Street. With the warehouse’s bridge crane that allows workers to move pieces anywhere inside the shop, the company was able to build a 135-foot aluminum vehicle bridge for use over the Cedar River in Renton.

The company is one of only a few to strictly use aluminum for its products while others still work with wood, Guy said in response to Larsen asking what made his company different.

Guy said he’d like to spread his products further, possibly through Navy contracts, and indicated he’d like Larsen’s help.