Tomorrow, Governor Rick Snyder heads off to Asia with a delegation of Michigan political leaders and business officials on a trade mission.
He'll spend a week traveling to Japan, China, and South Korea.
Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton will travel with the Governor and report on the stops in Shanghai and and Beijing.
Samilton reported on Governor Snyder's goals for the trip:
The ultimate goal is creating more jobs in the state. But the Governor has been careful to downplay expectations of new jobs right away.
"In terms of specific deals to be announced," Snyder says, "I don’t have high expectations there. This is more about starting the relationships and then looking six months, a year out, after subsequent meetings and followup and discussions, will there be actual investment or will there be more exports.
So, how much?
We asked our Facebook fans what they wanted to know about Snyder's trade mission.
Many were curious to know how much is being spent on the trip.
Samilton put this question to Michael Shore at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Here's his response:
- The trade mission costs will come either from contributions to the Michigan Economic Development foundation, a non-profit that supports economic development in Michigan through corporate contributions, or from MEDC corporate revenues, which derive from sources other than the state general fund. No taxpayer dollars are being spent for those traveling on behalf of the State of Michigan.
MEDC officials followed up that e-mail with this:
- Local officials and other non-state of Michigan people going on the trip are responsible for paying their own way. The cost of the trip will be disclosed after the trade mission.
So the cost is to be determined, but they wanted to make clear that "no taxpayer dollars [will be] used to fund the State of Michigan official delegation, which includes the Governor."
Other trade trips by Michigan Governors
The last Michigan Governor to visit China was former-Governor John Engler.
Former Governor Jennifer Granholm never made a trip to the country, though she did take many trade trips, according to Crain's Detroit Business:
...Jennifer Granholm was active in going abroad and led 13 overseas trade missions to 10 countries, including Japan and South Korea.