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Missouri trade entourage, led by Nixon, returns home with $1.9 billion in trade deals

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is returning from his week-long trade trip to Asia with a bunch of trade agreements in his pocket.

The governor’s staff announced that the deals with South Korea and Taiwan, combined, call for $1.9 billion in Missouri products to be sold to the two countries over the next four years.

“More Missouri goods sold to consumers overseas means more good jobs for Missourians back home,” Nixon said in a statement. “These agreements to sell $1.9 billion in Missouri goods to consumers in these two key markets are another testament to the quality of Missouri products and the effectiveness of our proactive approach.”

In Seoul, the capital of South Korea, Nixon oversaw the signing of three trade agreements between the Missouri Department of Economic Development and Korean trade organizations.

“The first agreement was with the Korea International Trade Association and the Korea-U.S. Economic Council and is worth $600 million,” Nixon's office said. “The second agreement, also valued at $600 million, was with the Korea Importers Association. The administration also signed an agreement with the Korea Small and Medium Business Corp.”

While in Seoul, Nixon met with various public officials and business leaders, as well as Mizzou’s Korean alumni chapter.

The governor and his wife, Georganne Nixon, also joined with soldiers of the Missouri National Guard for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Korean War Memorial.

In Taiwan’s capital of Taipei, Nixon’s administration signed two agreements worth $700 million for Missouri producers over the next four years: “a $200 million agreement between the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Taiwan Feed Industry Association, and a $500 million agreement between the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council,” his staff reported.

The deals include arrangements with “two major distributors that will expand the availability of Missouri soy products throughout Taiwan.”

“Over the past week we’ve seen firsthand that the high-quality products manufactured and grown in Missouri are in high demand in these key international markets,” Nixon said. “The agreements closed this week will put even more ‘Made in Missouri’ goods on shelves in Korea and Taiwan, adding value for farmers and creating jobs for workers in the Show-Me State.”

Those accompanying the governor and his wife included: Jon Hagler, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture; Chris Pieper, acting director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development; state Sen. Jay Wasson, R-Nixa; Senate Minority Floor Leader Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City; state Rep. Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield; and state Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City.

The delegation also included representatives from a number of Missouri-based companies, including: RIBUS Inc., NeCo Seeds, Monsanto, Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Co., Missouri-Pacific Lumber Co., Missouri Energy Development Association, Energy Saver LED, Diva Maker, the Missouri Corn Growers Association, American Botanicals, the Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri State University, Northwest Missouri State University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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