Governor Closes $4.4 Billion Trade Agreement with China

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JEFFERSON CITY - During a conference call from China with reporters Monday morning, Gov. Nixon announced he sealed a $4.4 billion trade agreement between the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. The Governor said the agreement would increase trade between Missouri and China by more than $1 billion a year between 2012 to 2014.

Nixon said Missouri exported $987.4 million worth of goods to China in 2010. China is Missouri's third largest export market with some of the main exports being agricultural products, electrical equipment, copper and lead.

Some of Missouri's farming industry leaders said they look forward to the deal's impact.  Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst says most economists agree about 8,000 to 9,000 jobs are created domestically for every $1 billion increase in trade. 

Both Hurst and Matthew Alsager with the Missouri Soybean Association say the increase in exports will drive supply, demand and price up. And while the price of the comodities being exported is expected to increase, Hurst and Alsager said the domestic consumer will not suffer. 

Nixon said he will also meet with aviation leaders in China to discuss increasing the number of flights between China and St. Louis. He said the controversy over the China Hub bill among legislators did come up, but it did not negatively impact the trade agreement.