A Midwestern Governor Who Embraces Trade for Jobs, Opportunity

By October 14, 2010Technology, Trade

Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana announced this week that he will lead another Hoosier trade mission to China and Japan beginning in November. About 40 members will join the delegation, which will travel to Shanghai and Zhejiang, Indiana’s Chinese sister-state, then on to Nagoya and Tokyo in Japan.

From the news release, “Governor to travel to China and Japan“:

“Following our first trip to China last year, we’ve had several successes. The potential for more jobs from China is growing, and we’ll spend additional time there this year,” said the governor. “Of course, our trips are always built around visiting our customers in Japan, and we’ll do the same again this year.”

More than 42,000 Hoosiers are employed by more than 200 Japanese companies in the state. Those companies have investments here of more than $9.8 billion. Since last year’s trip, China-based Y.K. Furniture announced plans to establish a $24 million U.S. headquarters in Marion and lithium-ion battery maker EnerDel announced an agreement with Wanxiang, the largest auto parts producer in China, which EnerDel says will rapidly accelerate its business plan. The governor met with officials from Y.K. Furniture and Wanxiang during his 2009 trip to China.

The governor will meet with officials from Wanxiang, Geely, Dongfeng and other auto companies while in China. Officials from those companies visited Indianapolis earlier this year for the first-ever U.S.-China Advanced Technology Vehicle Summit. He will also pay respects to executives from Honda, Toyota and Subaru as well as other companies with Indiana operations while in Japan.

The U.S.-China Advanced Technology Vehicle Summit? Were opportunities and U.S. jobs discussed then?

Why yes, they were…

From a news release, Energy Systems Network, May 28, 2010, “First U.S.-China Advanced Vehicle Summit Pays off in Productive Dialogue, New Deals between Chinese and Indiana Companies“:

INDIANAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nearly 100 Chinese government officials, trade association leaders and auto executives visited Indiana on Thursday and Friday for the first U.S.-China Advanced Technology Vehicle Summit, organized by the Energy Systems Network (ESN) on behalf of Indiana’s leading manufacturers of components and technologies for hybrid electric vehicles. The event featured several signed deals, substantive dialogue between the two groups, and the promise of more business opportunities for Hoosier companies in the world’s fastest-growing automotive market.

“It’s appropriate that we hold the Advanced Vehicle Summit on the eve of the Indy 500 here in the racing capitol of the world,” noted Joe Loughrey, ESN chairman and retired president of Cummins. “Indiana is also in a race to attract new jobs and investment in the electric vehicle industry, and this Summit presents us with a historic opportunity.”

Indiana participants in the Summit included Allison Transmission, Cummins, Delphi, EnerDel, and Remy International. The lengthy list of Chinese companies included BYD, Chery, Dongfeng Electric Vehicle, Shanghai GM, FAW Group, Geely and others. All of China’s major state-owned, joint venture and private auto manufacturers are producing or have announced plans for hybrid and electric models; the country is projected to grow its global share of the electric vehicle market from 3% to 35% over the next decade.

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