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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 7, 2009 at 10:46 AM

Washington State Ferries

Yes, we’re competitive

Recently, the House Transportation Committee held a public hearing to discuss the possibility of eliminating the requirement that ferry vessels be constructed in Washington state. I support this and I will tell you why: Competitive bidding gets you a quality product at a lower cost.

Washington state has a strong shipbuilding industry, competitive with the best shipyards across the nation. Yes, our local boatyards and unions are competitive.

I want to encourage our local boatyards, but when all I see are bids for work at the highest prices we’ve ever experienced, I’m reluctant. On the other hand, I feel strongly our local industry has what it takes to win bids.

The shipbuilding industry has lobbied against this bill by taking protectionist measures, basically lobbying to remain in business.

I’m employed in an industry that has multiple business failures every year. The successful are those who are on their toes, acting with innovation, remaining competitive and staying in business.

I have little sympathy.

— Paul Lundy, Kingston

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