Governor Nixon says he scrapped a trade mission to Taiwan, because it’s not “an optimal time” to go.
Without directly stating it, Governor Nixon indicates his trade mission to Taiwan got caught in the age-old dispute between Taiwan and China.
“This internal conflict between Taiwan and China has been ongoing for over six decades,” Nixon tells reporters during a news conference in his Capitol office. “Both countries are important trading, and we hope growing trading, partners for Missouri businesses. We’ve been navigating the issues between those various countries for some period of time.”
The chairman of the Midwest China Hub Commission, working to make Lambert Airport in St. Louis a freight hub for Chinese goods, asked Nixon to delay the trip, worried it might anger China during a delicate period of negotiations. China considers Taiwan part of the country, though Taiwan insists on its independence. Other countries often get got in the cross fire.
Nixon had intended to formalize an agreement for Taiwan to buy $600 million worth of Missouri agricultural products. Nixon doesn’t believe the cancellation kills the deal.
“No, I don’t think so. I think we’ll continue to work with them,” Nixon responds. “They have a high demand for our agricultural products. We’ve been in touch with those folks and look forward to continuing to move forward to get towards that agreement. I don’t think it, in the long run, I do not think it will jeopardize it.”
Nixon was to have been on the trade mission to Taiwan and South Korea beginning Friday, through the 16th. There has been no indication of when it might be re-scheduled.
The governor’s office at first was tight-lipped about why the trip was cancelled. The trip to Taiwan and South Korea planned to include a number of Missourians, representing a wide-range of state interests with a special focus on agriculture.