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Congressional candidates talk foreign policy

Each week, the Sun-Gazette will be talking to candidates for public office on topics impacting voters. This week, a question was posed to candidates for 12th Congress. The candidates are Republican Fred Keller, the incumbent; Democrat Lee Griffin, and Libertarian Liz Terwilliger.

Question: What should be the chief foreign policy for the U.S. over the next four years?

Griffin: “America’s foreign policy in the next four years should focus on regaining international market share for our agricultural produce and expanding our network of alliances. The administration’s recent trade wars have caused our farmers to lose access to international markets, and we need to mitigate that impact. America’s participation and leadership in international organizations like NATO and the WHO are essential to curbing the influence of China on the international stage.”

Keller: “Under the leadership of President Donald J. Trump, the United States has returned to its rightful position as a preeminent power on the world stage. Because of the Trump Administration’s pro-growth, America first agenda, our country has achieved peace and prosperity through strength and determination. Over the next four years, we must continue to build on this progress and put America’s interests first in everything we do, especially in strengthening our nation’s energy independence and bringing our supply chain back from nations like Russia and China that do not share our values. Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District represents a crucial segment of the nation’s energy industry and is home to some of the most abundant natural gas reserves in the entire world. I support an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy that includes, among other things, producing more domestic oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy. Doing so will keep consumers’ energy costs low, support good-paying jobs, benefit our allies, weaken our adversaries, and strengthen our national security. We must also continue to rebuild our military so that they have the resources they need to keep us safe and maintain peace through strength.”

Terwilliger: “I believe that our chief foreign policy focus needs to be on diplomacy and rebuilding relationships. If we’re going to meet global challenges like climate change, cybersecurity and terrorism, then we need to be a partner in the global community. If we’re going to bring our military home from war zones and peace keeping roles around the world, then we need to be a partner in strategic planning. We don’t need a repeat of our unilateral sudden withdrawal from the Turkish border. We need to work with our allies and regional stakeholders to enact strategic withdrawal of our military presence in a manner that meets each region’s unique needs and maintains stability. To accomplish any of this we need strong relationships and trust within the global community. In short, we need to focus on diplomacy.”

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