Idaho Gov. Butch Otter for the second time in a little over two years plans to lead a trade delegation to China, a top importer of the state’s products.
An Otter spokesman says the governor is a staunch advocate of growing business relationships with all of the state’s current international trading partners and in cultivating relationships with new ones.
During the weeklong trip starting Saturday, Otter and a contingent of business representatives will visit Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu. In 2011, China ranked fifth among the state’s importers by buying $398 million in goods.
While some Idaho Republicans are wary of dealing with China and its investments in the U.S., Idaho Department of Commerce Director Jeffrey Sayer says attracting investment isn’t the focus of Otter’s trip this time, but noted that the governor won’t turn down investments based solely on where they come from.
Sayer says increasing international exports and attracting investment capital remain top priorities for his department, adding that those steps are critical to advance Idaho’s economy to $60 billion.
That number represents Otter’s Project 60, a plan to increase Idaho’s gross state product to $60 billion while creating job opportunities in the state. (AP)