Governor Walker Discusses Alaska Opportunities with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
Arctic naval base, natural resources and trade deficit among topics during meeting
May 11, 2017 FAIRBANKS—Governor Bill Walker today discussed the importance of Alaska’s strategic geopolitical role in national security during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, emphasizing the strong need for a naval base in the Arctic. Secretary Tillerson introduced Governor Walker during the 10th Ministerial of the Arctic Council luncheon.
“We are fortunate to have a Secretary of State who is familiar with Alaska and knows just how close we are to neighboring countries that are building up their military presence in our waters and skies,” Governor Walker said. “I was seated next to Secretary Tillerson during a White House dinner in February, so this was the second meeting where I explained the opportunities that Alaska provides to the country. Today, I told the Secretary that Alaska can play a crucial role in offsetting the United States trade deficit if any barriers are removed to market our natural resources—like seafood, timber and natural gas. We also discussed the visits by Vice President Mike Pence and President Xi Jinping, who was able to see firsthand the myriad opportunities between Alaska and China.”
Governor Walker and Secretary Tillerson also discussed the University of Alaska Fairbanks being more of a “University of the Arctic” given its 20 years of involvement in Arctic issues.