JOPLIN, Mo. — Gov. Jay Nixon is scheduled to embark on a midsummer European trade trip next month in an effort to promote Missouri exports abroad, he confirmed to PoliticMo on Wednesday.
“We have a number of very solid announcements we’ll make while we’re preparing and traveling that will show the value of Missouri products around the world is very important,” he said.
The trip is set to include stops in London, Brussels and Paris, said Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin. Richard, a former chairman of the House Economic Development Committee, said Nixon had asked him to join him on the trip.
The trip will be Nixon’s second such mission this year. In March, Nixon visited South Korea and Taiwan, where his group inked $1.9 billion in new trade agreements. Earlier in his tenure, Nixon made similar trips to Brazil in 2012 and China in 2011.
Nixon said the General Assembly passed legislation earlier in the year that would help incentivize Missouri products from small and medium-sized businesses to be exported abroad, a proposal he called for earlier in the year during his state of the state address.
“The fact that they put those additional resources in there and how we use those to promote all sizes of businesses in the international market is something that is very important to transition our economy,” he said.
Nixon was in Joplin on Wednesday to participate in the grand opening of a new Coca-Cola distribution facility.
“Companies like Coca-Cola in Joplin, Ford in Clay County, and Monsanto in St. Louis, this is the kind of growth that has allowed Missouri’s unemployment rate to reach its lowest point since 2008,” he said.
The company broke ground on the new facility nearly a year ago after their plans to expand were stalled by the 2011 tornado. The facility they had planned to use in 2011 was needed for use by the local school district in the wake of several of its buildings being damaged or destroyed.