File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

“Trade is a two-way street.” That’s the message U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., wants President Barack Obama to deliver to Chinese President Xi Jinping, when the two men meet this week in Washington. Xi begins an official state visit here Friday.

“Missouri farmers have to be able to sell our products in China on a level playing field and right now they’re being treated unfairly,” McCaskill told St. Louis Public Radio.

(via Flickr/iChaz)

According to World Trade Center St. Louis executive director Tim Nowak, the number one destination for St. Louis exports is China. With such a direct link to the St. Louis economy, the future of U.S.-China relations is particularly significant to the St. Louis region.

In his new book “Contest of the Century,” Financial Times journalist Geoff Dyer offers an in-depth look at the increasingly competitive nature of that relationship. He is in St. Louis for a presentation tonight at the St. Louis County Library.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

The relationship between the United States and China is important, as demonstrated by recent meetings between President Barack Obama and his counterpart, Xi Jinping.

A group of 37 Chinese students will begin arriving in St. Louis this week to attend Missouri Boys and Girls State, youth leadership programs held at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri’s Boys State and Girls State will mark a national first over the next few weeks, as they host an expected 37 high school and college students from China – 16 boys and 21 girls – who will join the hundreds of Missouri teens who participate in the student-government program.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Former Republican Missouri Senator Kit Bond will lead a delegation of St. Louis-area business leaders to China later this year.

Bond's consulting firm that works on international trade will accompany regional and statewide businesses and academic institutions to China in December.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Akin continues to dismiss Republican pleas to withdraw from Senate race

In an interview on NBC’s Today show, embattled Representative Todd Akin confirmed that Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan called him to personally plea that he step aside in the wake of the searing controversy surrounding his comments about abortion. Akin says he told Ryan that he was thinking things over and wants to “do the right thing.”

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri companies exported $14.1 billion worth of goods and services last year, according to new data from the World Trade Center St. Louis and the World Institute for Strategic Economic Research.

That's a record level of exports, officials say - $500 million higher than the previous record, which was set in 2007. The state's biggest customers were Canada, Mexico and China, with China's consumption of goods like copper scrap, fan parts, and semiconductor devices growing another 18 percent in 2011.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

An Illinois Congressman and US transportation officials are talking up a Granite City river port to a Chinese delegation exploring new trade routes to the American market.

Congressman Jerry Costello touted the access America's Central Port has to railroads and highways during a visit from China's Vice Minister of Maritime Affairs, Xu Zuyuan.

Costello said a harbor to be completed next year will give a strategic advantage in moving imports and exports.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri officials have completed an agreement to boost exports and investment in northwestern China by $200 million.

Gov. Jay Nixon's office said Friday that the deal calls for state Department of Economic Development to work with officials in Xinjiang Uygur to increase Missouri exports from 2012 to 2014.

(Photo Courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden)

Joining in with other recent Missouri moves to trade with Chinese entities, the Missouri Botanical Garden has announced that it has established a Missouri-China relationship of its own.

Plant diversity is the focus of the Garden's Memorandum of Understanding with three Chinese botanical institutions: Nanjing Botanical Garden, Lushan Botanical Garden and Guangxi Institute of Botany.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

He may be retired, but former Senator Kit Bond still has connections across the world. A new venture Bond launched Tuesday will be looking for ways to use those connections to help Missouri businesses.

The first effort for Kit Bond Strategies is a trade mission to Indonesia for the World Trade Center St. Louis.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

While in the St. Louis region Tuesday for a press conference on the Share the Harvest program (which you can learn more about below) Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon called his trade trip to China productive - however, he had little to say about whether he wants to renew efforts to get tax credits for a China hub.

The Democrat said his week-long trip resulted in $4.6 billion in export agreements between Missouri and China.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says he has closed a deal with another Chinese province to import products from Missouri.

Nixon said Thursday the government of Zhejiang Province has agreed to import $100 million of Missouri products over the coming years. The province also agreed to help facilitate an additional $100 million of investment in Missouri businesses.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says a Chinese province has agreed to increase its imports from Missouri by $100 million over the next three years.

Nixon's announcement Wednesday about the Hebei province came as part a weeklong trade trip to China. The governor previously announced that a new agreement with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade would increase imports of Missouri goods by $1 billion over three years.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri will sell around $4.4 billion worth of agricultural products to China, in a trade agreement announced today by Governor Jay Nixon (D).

Speaking to reporters via conference call from Beijing, Nixon said exports from Missouri will increase by more than a billion dollars between 2012 and 2014.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Two of Missouri's public universities will be partnering with a college in China to open a new university in the central part of the country.

The University of Missouri-St. Louis and Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla will work with Tianfu College in Mianyang, in Sichuan Province, to open Sichuan Missouri University.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Pat Quinn has announced two business agreements between Chinese and American companies.

Quinn was in Beijing during an eight-day trade mission Monday.

He says China-based Goldwind plans to build a $200 million wind farm in Lee County in north-central Illinois. Construction on the Shady Oaks project begins this fall.

(via Flickr/Toehk)

The Saint Louis University School of Public Health is launching a study to look at the effects of urban air pollution on pregnant women in China.

SLU epidemiologist Zhengmin Qian says the research will track the pregnancies of 100,000 women in Wuhan, a city of nine million people in central China.

(via Karen Hill/Missouri Botanical Garden)

The Missouri Botanical Garden will host a Chinese lantern festival next year.

The exhibition—the first of its kind in the United States—will feature 26 large, brightly-colored lantern displays from China's Zigong province.

Canada, Mexico and China are the top customers for Missouri goods in an export market that jumped 36 percent in 2010, the St. Louis Business Journal reports.

The data reflecting the jump is from the World Trade Center St. Louis.

Tim Nowak, executive director at the World Trade Center, says the growth was driven primarily by industrial products and manufactured goods.

St. Louis is one big step closer to securing a potentially lucrative trade partnership with China.

The Midwest-China Hub Commission announced today that China Eastern Airlines has agreed to open up talks with Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

The step signals that the plan has moved out of the plausibility phase and into a logistical phase.

(UPI/Boeing Aircraft Handout)

A senior administration official says China will announce deals Wednesday to purchase $45 billion in U.S.
exports, including a $19 billion agreement to buy 200 Boeing airplanes, according to the Associated Press.

The official says the deal will create 235,000 jobs in the U.S.

It is important to note, however, that these planes will be commercial aircraft. Moreover, the St. Louis division of Boeing, which produces military aircraft, is unlikely to benefit directly from today's deal.

The news that China has surpassed Japan as the world's second largest economy sent a shiver through the collective soul of economic pundits. It needn't have.

During the late 1980s, we were warned of Japan's expanding economic machine. The Japanese economy was then expanding at a rate that made ours look puny. Everyone looked to Japan as the source for economic inspiration and guidance: Recall the movement to adopt their management techniques or face economic defeat?