Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

December 27, 2019

King introduces bill to recognize Arctic region's strategic importance

Two months after Maine sent its largest-ever delegation to the annual Arctic Circle Assembly in Iceland, U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, has introduced a bill that aims to shore up U.S. naval defenses in the Arctic Region.

The Arctic Naval Focus Act of 2019, co-sponsored by King and Alaska Republican Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski, directs the federal government to recognize the importance of the Arctic region to U.S. national and economic security interests.

It also calls for a strategy for the U.S. fleet’s ability to operate in the Arctic and respond to challenges.

“The Arctic is an emerging frontier for international commerce and military capabilities required to protect national interests, which creates new opportunities for the United States — and for potential adversaries,” King said in a news release.

“As the impacts of climate change continue to affect this vital region, the U.S. must be forward-thinking to establish and protect our leadership role in the Arctic, and Maine’s people and resources are a key component of this effort," he added. "As the old Latin phrase goes: ‘If you want peace, prepare for war.’ 

Arctic Circle Assembly group photo
Courtesy/Arctic Circle Assembly Secretariat
The Arctic Circle Assembly is held every October in Reykjavik, Iceland. This photo is from October, when Gov. Janet Mills led Maine's largest-ever delegation to the annual gathering.

This past October, Maine Gov. Janet Mills led the state's delegation of more than 60 people to the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reyjkjavik, signing a pact with Finland on the first day to fight climate change while strengthening their respective forest economies.

Dana Eidsness, director of the Maine International Trade Center's North Atlantic Development Development Office and a 2019 Mainebiz Next honoree, has described the annual gathering as an "outstanding event for professional development, network building and for identifying partners for research and/or business initiatives."

The next Arctic Circle Assembly is scheduled for Oct. 8-11, 2020, in Iceland's capital.


Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF