A business leader in Missouri sees great opportunity for the state’s economy if it succeeds in landing a trade hub with China at St. Louis’ Lambert Airport.
Missouri Chamber of Commerce President Dan Mehan is vice chairman of the Midwest China Hub Commission. Mehan won’t speculate as to when we might know if the trade hub at Lambert will become reality.
“You can’t build this quickly and we’ve been at this in earnest for a year and a half to two years and we have made great progress,” Mehan says.
Mehan says it’s not a coincidence that the Chinese ambassador to the United States recently came to Missouri and stayed overnight in Jefferson City. Governor Nixon welcomed Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong to his Capitol office for a news conference with the Capitol Press Corps last week. Wenzhong visited St. Louis earlier in the day. The talks centered on trade, but Missouri officials are pressing hard to formalize a deal with China to establish the $40 million trade hub at Lambert.
“They obviously see the potential here or they wouldn’t be here,” Mehan says. “We obviously see the potential which is why we’ve put so much time and effort into trying to make this effort come to fruition not just for St. Louis or Missouri, but for the entire region.”
Mehan says the “sky’s the limit” on what type of trade might flow through a hub at Lambert. It could especially be good for agri-business, bio-tech, and manufacturing parts. China would use the hub to bring its consumer goods to the middle of the United States.