JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KMOX) – The idea behind the “China Hub” proposal is making its way through the Missouri statehouse again.

A Missouri House committee heard the slimmed down proposal to make Lambert International Airport an international trade hub. The measure would create $60 million in tax credits – $300 million less than the original proposal – to companies shipping cargo internationally. The original proposal was met with strong opposition from lawmakers looking to slash tax credits.

Keith Calhoun is the Emerson Electric Lebanon plant manager and says it would save Missouri companies time and money to have a trade hub in St. Louis.

“We’re on I-44, we’re two-and-a-half hours from the airport and today that air freight goes out of Chicago,” he said. “Why can’t it go out of St. Louis, Missouri which is just a couple hours from Lebanon?”

Missouri Chamber of Commerce President Dan Mehan says the credits would only be tapped if results are seen.

“We’re confident we got a good package this year,” he said. “It’s slimmed down, it’s sunset after eight years and only $7.5 million in tax credits per year and it only exists, it only gets activated, when exports are off the runway at Lambert, going to destinations around the globe.”

The House committee did not vote on the measure, but a Senate committee passed a similar version last week.


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