ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Missouri Governor Nixon leaves for China on an eight-day trade mission, forced to apologize to the Chinese for the Missouri legislature doing nothing to pass tax breaks for the Chinese cargo hub at Lambert Airport.
“Certainly we would have liked to have additional tools on our side,” Nixon said of the failed tax break package, “But this is a relationship that has been strengthened lately. We expect it to continue to strengthen.”
The governor says his goal for the trip is to sign trade agreements that will boost exports of Missouri grains, beef and manufactured goods to China. He made the announcement at the Archer Daniels Midland grain elevator site along the Mississippi River.
Nixon declined to put a dollar amount on the agreements in play, saying he’ll reveal that when he returns.
When asked how damaging the collapse of the tax break package is to the Lambert Airport China Hub, Nixon shrugged it off as just a temporary setback.
“This was one part of a broader strategy, but it’s not going to stop us from moving forward,” Nixon said.
The Nixon trip was drawing criticism from the Missouri Republican Party.
“He has just now realized that trading with China is a very important thing for our state and for jobs here,” said Mo GOP Executive Director Lloyd Smith, “In 2008, he then as a candidate tore apart the efforts of our gubernatorial candidate that was saying the very same thing that Jay Nixon is now saying about China.”
The trip is being paid for by the Hawthorn Foundation, a non-profit group that promotes economic growth in Missouri.
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