Former Missouri governor sees opportunities from China hub plan
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Former Missouri governor sees opportunities from China hub plan

Date: September 8, 2011
By: Tong Gao
State Capitol Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Although the agreement of passing tax breaks and a China air cargo hub at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis is still up in the air at the beginning of the special session, former Missouri governor Bob Holden says he is always in support of the plans that could benefit international business relationships.

Holden serves as the chairman of Midwest U.S.-China Association after serving as the state governor. It is a nonprofit, bipartisan organization that dedicating in US-China business cooperation.

"Anything that we can do to strengthen those relationships so they will turn into partnerships, which will lead to opportunities and jobs, we are suppoting them," Holden said. "Once the opportunities are established, wherever they are established in the Midwest, I think it helps all Midwesterner businesses expand trade with China and create jobs in the Midwest."

However, opponents are concerned the jobs would actually be moved overseas as opposed to benefitting the local community. Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, has previously said he was concerned the China hub will boost import more than export.

Chinese government has imposed safety restrictions on imported food from U.S., including beef and pork. Although Holden said there are opportunities in building up trades, he said he doesn't know what would be shipped once the hub is constructed before the restrictions are removed. 

"That's a issue that Chinese government and our government have to deal with," Holden said.

Holden is planning a business trip to China in October, bringing the delegations from the 12 Midwest states to meet with U.S. Commerce, U.S. Embassy staff and China Council.

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