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Government, Politics & Issues

Bond: Sought after for awards, TV shows - and as bridge namesake

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 8, 2010 - Aside from getting a bridge named after him, outgoing U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo., also is busy these days collecting awards and focusing on favorite issues before he leaves office at the end of this year.

This morning, he was up before dawn to appear at 6:40 a.m. on cable channel CNBC's "Squawk Box" to talk about the economy with St. Louis Federal Reserve President and CEO Jim Bullard. 

On Thursday, Bond -- who is retiring after 24 years in the Senate, and eight earlier years as governor -- was honored with the Globalist Award from the Boeing Institute of International Business at St. Louis University.

According to his staff, "The Globalist Award is in recognition of more than 40 years of Bond's outstanding leadership in promoting international trade and economic development."

Said Bond at Thursday's ceremony:

"I have enjoyed a long partnership with Missouri businesses, farmers and producers promoting international business and free trade; trade that grows businesses and jobs for Missourians and our nation. And that is exactly what all of you have been teaching, learning and promoting here at the Boeing Institute of International Business. Trade forges not just economic ties, but political, diplomatic and educational ties that are vital to our nation's strategic interests."

Institute Director Seung H. Kim praised the senator as "a champion for international business throughout his career as governor and senator. He has been a leader in promoting trade and investment, national security, biotechnology and education. We thank him for all he has done for the city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri and are grateful to have this opportunity to recognize his accomplishments."

At the awards ceremony, Bond praised the institute and noted that he was governor when he first traveled to Asia "to increase Missouri exports and two-way trade."

As senator, Bond continued traveling to Asia to promote trade, particularly Missouri agricultural and defense products.

As his office's release notes:

"Bond, one of the strongest advocates for free trade in Congress, stressed that increasing exports and trade is critical to the American economy. Currently, one-third of the American economy is now trade dependent, making it clear that trade is no longer a luxury, but vital to creating jobs here at home and expanding business opportunities overseas.

"The senator pointed to President (Barack) Obama's focus on expanding trade in his State of the Union address earlier this year, agreeing on the need to seek new markets aggressively and no longer sit on the sidelines. Bond also renewed his warning that elected officials must resist the politically popular temptation to leverage tariffs and enact protectionist policies. Instead, to expand our economy now and to create the jobs of the future, Congress and the President must pursue Free Trade agreements."

Bond particularly called for "increasing engagement in Southeast Asia, where there is a vast Muslim population. Bond, who wrote a book on the region called The Next Front, noted that we cannot overestimate the economic, diplomatic and strategic importance of this region not only today, but in the future."

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