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Inslee staying in China extra day

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee will return from his belated trade trip China on Tuesday, rather than today.

Inslee's office said this morning the governor was extending his stay in China an extra day to make a trip to Beijing for meetings that were postponed last week because of the special session. He'll meet with Gary Locke, his gubernatorial predecessor who is now U.S. ambassador to China, and receive a briefing on China's clean energy efforts.

Otter to leave Fri. on trade mission to Russia

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is getting ready for a nine-day trade mission in Russia.The Republican governor, his staff and Idaho business leaders will leave Boise Friday. The trip caps a busy year of international travel for Otter, who has already made official visits to Vietnam, Taiwan and Korea. The Idaho Statesman reports that (http://bit.ly/1aBdWSD ) Otter will be accompanied by 17 Commerce and Agriculture companies from a variety of industries. The trip to a country that boasts the world's 11th largest economy includes stops in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In his two terms in office, Otter has made a focus of increasing Idaho's exports. Last year was a record-breaking year as global sales of Idaho products totaled more than $6.1 billion.

Otter calls Asia trade mission a success

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has returned from a six-day trade mission to Asia, and reports that he views the mission to South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam as a success. During the trip, the Idaho Department of Commerce signed a memorandum of understanding with the Taiwan Industrial Development Bureau on cooperation in research and development of geothermal energy. Two fresh produce importers in Taipei singed up to import onions from the Idaho-Eastern Oregon region this fall; the Idaho Potato Commission identified market segments it can tap in Korea and Vietnam; and Idaho food products, wine and vodka were featured at a promotion in Taipei that included a chef demonstration by Rod Jessick, executive chef at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

Click below for the governor’s full announcement.

Otter, delegation poised for trade trip to Asia

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and a delegation of business leaders are getting ready to head to Asia to peddle and promote some Idaho's top-ticket products. The Republican governor and crew leave Friday with stops planned in South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. Taiwan is the state's third largest trade partner and South Korea is a top five export destination for Idaho businesses. As for Vietnam, state commerce officials view the country as an emerging trade partner. Some of the governor's travel partners include the Idaho Wheat Commission and The Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee, which represents about 300 growers and 35 shippers. Food and agriculture products account for nearly $950 million in annual export sales, second only to the semiconductor and industrial equipment sector. The delegation is expected to return April 27.

Latin America trade mission results in leads for Idaho businesses

Idaho's delegation has returned from a trade mission to Mexico and Brazil and reports “tremendous interest and opportunities in both countries for Idaho products and services,” says Lt. Gov. Brad Little (right), who led the mission.

Seventeen Idaho businesses or organizations participated, from Mountain States Oilseeds, which reported that it secured agreements for five more semi-truck loads of mustard seed to be exported to Mexico, to Ground Force Manufacturing of Post Falls, which reported a $1 million sale and additional likely sales over the next two years of up to $12 million from contacts made on the trade mission.

Idaho's next trade mission will be to China in April 2012.

Otter Picks Rodeo Over Trade Mission

Gov. Butch Otter, who canceled his leadership of a trade mission to Brazil and Mexico, will instead attend the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas this week. Otter says growing Idaho's economy is his highest priority. His “Project 60” effort aims to boost the gross state product to $60 billion a year. The figure was $55.4 billion in 2010. Otter's spokesman, Jon Hanian, said Monday that Otter will be at the rodeo from Wednesday to Saturday, joined by his wife, Lori. The couple are paying their expenses and Otter “usually attends this event every year,” Hanian said. Hanian declined to say why Otter canceled his participation in the trade mission/Dan Popkey, Statesman. More here.

Question: Is a disengaged Butch Otter a good thing or a bad thing?

Gregoire going to China, Japan

OLYMPIA — Gov. Chris Gregoire is racking up the frequent flier miles this month. She's in Washington, D.C., right now for a National Governors Association meeting. Next week, she'll be going to China and Japan.

Gregoire is leading an NGA delegation to Beijing that leaves Monday, a spokeswoman said. That organization is paying the cost of the trip for her and an aide. She'll also have a couple state patrol officers accompanying her for security, which will be covered by the state.

Also making the trip will be governors from Georgia, Hawaii, North Carolina, Guam and the Northern Mariannas Islands.

After finishing in Beijing, Gregoire, her aide and security folks will make a brief side trip to Tokyo where she will meet with two Japanese companies that have manufacturing facilities in Washington and are looking to expand. One company makes carbon fiber parts for Boeing and is thinking of expanding into the automobile field; another makes silicon wafers.

The group is scheduled to return to Washington state on Friday.

Total cost to the state for the trip is still being calculated.