Illinois Gov. Heads to China to Talk Trade

6 years 9 months 1 week ago Friday, September 16 2011 Sep 16, 2011 Friday, September 16, 2011 2:36:00 AM CDT September 16, 2011 in News
By: Blake Hanson

JEFFERSON CITY - Illinois' Governor departs for China Friday to strengthen relations with China, while Ohio and Colorado could soon launch efforts for their own China Hubs. Meanwhile, Missouri's own, now significantly scaled-back version of the China Hub plan awaits House approval.

"Illinois' relationship with China and with Chinese businesses is an extremely important part of not only helping our economy grow but also making sure Illinois continues to be a strong competitor in today's global marketplace." Governor Quinn said. "Trade and investment in China are essential to growing our economy and during this trip, we will promote Illinois' exports and encourage Chinese companies to invest in Illinois."

Missouri Senators passed an economic development package on Wednesday that contained a significantly scaled back version of the China Hub bill. The plan originally called for $360 million in tax incentives to develop an airport cargo hub at Lambert Airport in St. Louis.

Lawmakers introduced a new version on Tuesday, after a Republican Senator Caucus Monday night revealed the group was not able to muster the vote to pass the $360 million package, according to Sen. Majority Leader Rob Mayer, R-Dexter.

Gov. Nixon has responded concerns about competition with O'Hare airport in Chicago over business with China. Nixon told reporters Lambert is more suiting for a trade hub because it isn't as busy, and has more space to develop the airport cargo hub.

The House is set to take up the economic development package next week.

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