MO Statehouse/Nixon trade trip
5:06 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Nixon says lack of China hub agreement won't change trade trip to the country

In August, Gov. Jay Nixon, with much fanfare, called for a special session of the Missouri General Assembly.

So, what's the top priority for everyone? A package of tax credits affectionately known as "Aerotropolis," which would provide incentives for the creation of a hub for Chinese cargo at Lambert Airport.

But the consensus on that legislation vanished quickly. And the timing could not be worse - Nixon heads to China tomorrow for an eight-day trade mission.

But at an Archer Daniels Midland grain elevator today, Nixon said the failure won't impact that trip. It would have been nice to head to China with new development tools, he said, but trade ties between China and Missouri are strong enough to move forward without them.

"These are relationships that I've been involved in far before there were even ideas like this," he said. "This was one part of a broader strategy. It's not going to stop us from moving forward."

Missouri businesses exported nearly $1 billion worth of goods to China in 2010. So far this year, the numbers are up 25 percent over last year, and the governor expects to ink three more deals this week. His office will not release numbers until they are signed, but they include agreements with individual Missouri businesses and deals for agriculture and specialized manufacturing products.

Nixon says he's also looking for ways to pass pieces of the stalled economic development measure.

"We're looking at various other types of economic incentives that can target even more specifically and make incremental steps that will both send signalds and have tangible results," he said.