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‘Hawai‘i on the Hill’ Attracts Island Business Leaders

June 12, 2019, 1:07 PM HST (Updated June 12, 2019, 1:07 PM)
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US Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaiʻi joined the Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi on June 12, 2019, in welcoming more than 150 members of Hawaiʻi’s business community, state elected officials and civil society leaders to Capitol Hill for the Sixth Annual Hawaiʻi on the Hill Policy Summit.

Hawaiʻi business leaders representing a full range of industries—from hospitality and manufacturing, to health care, transportation and education—participated in the event.

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“Over the past six years, the Hawaiʻi on the Hill Policy Summit has connected Hawaiʻi business leaders directly with decision makers in Washington,” Sen. Hirono said. “The Policy Summit is a great opportunity for participating businesses to make new connections, and I am grateful for the strong participation we continue to see from across our state.”

“Every day, Congress and the current administration make decisions that have a wide-ranging impact on Hawaiʻi businesses, and it’s critical that our business community stays engaged in the conversation,” Sherry Menor-McNamara, Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi president and CEO said. “The Hawaiʻi on the Hill Policy Summit continues to serve as a direct forum for our participants to stay up-to-date on the latest trade and other economic policy, as well as an opportunity to share their real-life business challenges and experience with lawmakers.”

Sen. Hirono, Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi President Sherry Menor-McNamara, State Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi and Rep. Ed Case kicked off the Policy Summit, which included remarks from and question and answer sessions with:

  • Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Chair of the Senate Rules Committee and Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, who spoke about the importance of federal funding for medical research and innovation.
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, who spoke about federal agriculture policy and the bipartisan Farm Bill that was enacted into law last year.
  • Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, who spoke about national manufacturing policy and initiatives to support small and medium-sized manufacturers across the country.
  • Richard Owen, Vice President of Global Membership & Engagement at the Produce Marketing Association, who spoke about international trade policy policy for the American agriculture industry.
  • Marc Knapper, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Japan and Korea, who spoke about geopolitics on the Korean Peninsula, and the importance of the bilateral relationship between the United States and Japan.
  • Scott Mulhauser, Founder of Aperture Strategies and Professor at Georgetown University, who assessed the state of relationships between the United States and China during a time of heightened trade tensions.
  • Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), closed out the Policy Summit by thanking Sen. Hirono for her strong representation of Hawaiʻi in the US Senate, and took questions on how business leaders can continue their advocacy for Hawaiʻi.
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