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Senators, St. Louis officials, in China for more trade talks

By Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – Missouri's two senators and several St. Louis area officials are in China this week in the ongoing effort to get a freight transit hub at Lambert Airport.

Officials had hoped to have a deal by early this summer. Now, Republican Senator Kit Bond and Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, along with members of the Midwest China Hub Commission, are in China again to visit with government and airline officials.

Mike Jones is chairman of the commission. He doesn't anticipate signing anything this week.

"I would love in a high moment when we have a breakthrough and come back with the deal," Jones said. "I don't expect that to happen but I do think we'll make substantial progress."

Jones said they'd like to set a date for Chinese officials to visit St. Louis next month, when St. Louis officials hope to sign a final agreement.