Former Missouri Governor promotes Midwest US-China business
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Former Missouri Governor promotes Midwest US-China business

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

Former Missouri Governor Bob Holden joins the debate of the international hub plan.
RunTime:  3:05
OutCue:  SOC


As Missouri lawmakers continue their debates about an air cargo transport hub in St. Louis, a former governor of Missouri is paying particular attention.

He's Bob Holden, the state's Democratic governor from 2001 to 2005.

After leaving office, Holden serves as the director of Public Policy program at Webster University in St. Louis.

But he is also the chair of the Midwest US-China Association.

The organization seeks to leverage US and China business cooperation.

As the debate of the China hub continues in the statehouse, Holden says we should see the opportunities of stronger partnerships from this plan.

Actuality:  BOBQUOTE.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: "Once the opportunities are established, wherever they are established in the Midwest, I think it helps all Midwestern businesses expand trade with China and create more jobs in the Midwest."

However, Sen. Jason Crowell says he's opposed to the plan because it will boost Chinese imports, not Missouri exports.

Actuality:  CROWELL.WAV
Run Time:  00:14
Description: "I don't get a rip of what any other senator says up here once they come up and say, oh we are gonna export beef. We heard that during session. That's not true. The USDA will tell you on their website that China blocks importation of beef."

Spokesperson from China Consulate in Chicago says they are not available for a China hub interview.

Holden also says although he doesn't know exactly what Assembly Leaders will ship to China, he interprets it as a benefit for both, as opposed to one versus the other.

Actuality:  BOBWIWI.WAV
Run Time:  00:18
Description: "I think there's an opportunity here where we can increase and create jobs in Midwest by what we were doing, and hopefully we will also increase the jobs in China. If we can spur both economies to be able to grow, and work for each other, so it's a benefit for both. Then I think that's a win-win for each."

Holden says many of the projects Midwest US-China Association is involving are promoting local economy in Missouri.

Actuality:  BOB5.WAV
Run Time:  00:08
Description: "That's what we've been able to do with Mamtek in Moberly, Missouri. And this is about creating jobs in Midwest."

Hong Kong founded company Mamtek's first artificial sweetener facility outside of China is under construction in Moberly. With Chinese partnership, this project brings an initial investment of $46 million into the Moberly community and will create more than 300 jobs in the next 18 months. 

Moberly Mayor Bob Riley says, “Mamtek has already shown themselves to be a great corporate citizen in the community.”

Holden says promoting regional prosperity matters everyone, regardless of political differences.

Actuality:  BOB3.WAV
Run Time:  00:22
Description: "Leaders like that in Midwest Governors Association and Midwest US-China Association and others need to continue to work to build those relationships and understandings. So that when we do have differences of opinion, we can work them out for the betterment and benefit of both the Midwest US region as well as the People's Republic of China."

Holden and Governor Nixon are seeking more opportunities to trade with China.

Actuality:  BOB6.WAV
Run Time:  00:07
Description: "The cultural values of the Midwest are very similar to what I found the cultural values in China"

They plan to meet with Chinese governmental officials and business people in China sometime in October.

Reporting from the statehouse, I'm Tong Gao.