The Missouri Chamber President says an incentive package for a China cargo hub at St. Louis would have been nice to talk about during the Governor’s upcoming trade mission to that nation. Dan Mehan feels, however, that the trip will be worthwhile without it.
He says the mission, which he will be a part of, is about building relationships. The hope is to establish ties between Chinese leaders and the Nixon Administration on the Governor’s first trip there. Mehan calls government to government associations very important in China.
There will be more than meeting and greeting, though. According to the Governor’s Office, the mission will include the signing of a series of agreements to sell billions of dollars’ worth of Missouri products to China in the next three years. China is the state’s 3rd largest trading partner.
Mehan says there will be a special emphasis on the state’s agriculture industry during this trip. The Chinese are interested in learning more about the farming practices used here to grow crops and livestock, and achieving healthy and marketable crops. The state’s delegation will also urge the reopening of China’s borders to U.S., and particularly Missouri, beef. That market has been closed since December of 2003.
As for the China Hub, Mehan says it could still be developed in spite of the legislature’s apparent failure to pass an incentive package to support it in special session. He describes the trading relationship between the state and China vibrant already, with or without that package.
Mehan thinks the pieces of the economic development bill were supported, but the package failed when the two chambers could not agree on tax credit reform. He thinks lawmakers missed an opportunity to save $1 billion in tax credits compared to $60 million over 8 years to create the China hub.
Senate leadership said on Monday it was finished with the session. The House is scheduled to meet in special session today.