Trade

Bill Greenblatt, UPI

While lauding a new Canadian trade deal, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon warned that Missouri’s future role in international trade will depend on improving transportation needs back home.

“Not just Missouri, but as a country, we’re going to have to make some decisions,’’ the governor said in a conference call Tuesday with reporters.

“Bridges don’t come for free. Ports don’t come for free. And last I checked, nobody comes out and pours concrete and puts rebar in for free,” Nixon said in an unusually passionate pitch.

Office of Sen. Durbin

The day after Democrats in the U.S. Senate blocked a proposal to give the president fast-track trade authority, a compromise has apparently been reached. This in turn would clear the way for a new Asian pact, the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin said the Senate is scheduled to take up the first part of an apparent compromise Thursday. 

flag of Ireland
via Flickr / Michael Caroe Andersen

Much of St. Louis’s top civic and economic brass traveled to Europe over the weekend. A trade delegation led by the St. Louis Regional Chamber, World Trade Center St. Louis, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Council Chairman Pat Dolan are in Ireland through Tuesday.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri has signed a memorandum of understanding to boost trade with Quebec. 

Speaking to reporters from Toronto on Wednesday, Gov. Jay Nixon said Missouri and Quebec signed an agreement to boost trade over the next four years by 15 percent. The agreement, according to a press release from Nixon’s office, was signed by Québec Minister of Industrial Policy Élaine Zakaïb and Missouri director of Economic Development Mike Downing.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Businesses that want to expand to new international markets or start exporting their goods for the first time are getting a boost from Gov. Jay Nixon's administration.

Nixon announced his "Export Missouri" initiative in St. Louis on Friday, at a luncheon honoring 20 years of the World Trade Center - St. Louis. The new program uses $2.3 million in state funding to open new trade offices in Canada and southeast Asia; offset the costs to companies of international trade shows or trade missions; and new online resources.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has announced $1.2 billion in trade agreements to sell Missouri products to South Korea over the next four years.

Nixon said Thursday that the state had entered into compacts with the Korea International Trade Association, the Korea-U.S. Economic Council and the Korea Importers Association.

While in Seoul, Nixon also met with South Korean government officials and laid a wreath at the Korean War Memorial. The governor says recent threats of war by North Korea's government have not stopped commerce in the region or impacted daily activities.

(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.

(CIA World Factbook)

Reporting from KSMU's Jennifer Moore used in this report.

As we mentioned this morning, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will travel to Brazil this month on a trade mission. The trip comes on the heels of the news that Missouri saw its strongest year ever for exports in 2011.

(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.

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.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

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.

flickr/cliff1066

This week, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., introduced legislation aimed at cracking down on unfair trade practices and boosting manufacturing jobs in the state.

McCaskill says many Missouri companies have expressed frustration that an increasing number of foreign shippers are using unscrupulous and illegal tactics to avoid paying penalties they owe for illegal trade practices.

She says the legislation will help in pursuing and successfully collecting duties.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Senator Claire McCaskill says after a month of traveling to Missouri businesses she’ll introduce legislation to better enforce U.S. trade laws.

The Democrat says too many foreign companies are engaging in unfair trading practices, such as mislabeling products to avoid paying duties.

McCaskill says her bill will require all importers to have a physical address to ensure easier tracking and new shippers will be required to pay cash for duties instead of posting bonds that sometimes go unpaid.

(via Flickr/jimbowen0306)

Commission struggles to reach agreement on Senate districts boundaries

A panel of five Democrats and five Republicans met Monday and adjourned without reaching a deal on a new Missouri state Senate district map for the 34-member Senate. Commission leaders said the St. Louis area seems to be the biggest sticking point in adjusting the outlines of the state and Senate districts.

UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt

Nixon Proposal Would Boost Oversight of Dog Breeders

Governor Jay Nixon proposed Wednesday to add $1.1 million to the state budget to hire 10 more inspectors, investigators, veterinarians and office staff for the Department of Agriculture program that regulates dog-breeding facilities. Nixon's office says the state currently spends about $600,000 a year on such efforts. The Senate Appropriations Committee considered the agriculture budget Wednesday but took no action on Nixon's proposal.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri farmers stand to benefit under a free-trade pact currently before Congress.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in St. Louis today to urge Congress to pass the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

He said Missouri exports large amounts of pork and soybeans, products that have a ready market in South Korea.

It appears diplomatic concerns, not travel issues, are what's keeping Gov. Jay Nixon in the United States next week.

A trade mission led by Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon heads to Taiwan and South Korea later this month.
The primary reason for the trip will be the signing of a letter of intent sealing Taiwan's purchase of $600 million of Missouri goods.
According to a press release from the Nixon's office, the deal will indicate a roughly 28 percent increase in Missouri exports to Taiwan, to about $88 million.