Gov. Jay Nixon is returning today from what he called "a busy and productive" trade trip to Taiwan and South Korea.
"I'm proud to report that, here in Korea, and in Taiwan where we were earlier this week, Missouri goods are in high demand," Nixon said in a telephone conference call. "Over the past few days, my administration closed a series of agreements to sell $1.9 billion in Missouri goods to Korean and Taiwanese consumers over the next four years.
"All of this means more soybeans and corn, more manufactured goods that we produce, make and grow in Missouri will be used to create jobs and to enter these international markets."
The governor said many parts of Missouri's economy should benefit from the agreements signed this week.
"It's simple - when we sell more Missouri products overseas, we create more jobs for workers at home," Nixon said. "Companies who once did business only with customers locally will now find customers around the globe."
The agreements provide targets for both sides to meet for production and purchases.
"It's a very good time for us on the agriculture side," Nixon noted. "I think, especially South Korea is getting additional pressure to import more goods; they are not able to feed themselves.
"But for the United States of America and other exporters of grain, they would not have enough food for their growing population."
The Missouri Farm Bureau was not involved with this trip, but President Blake Hurst said about 25 percent of Missouri's agricultural products are sold outside the United States, making such trade initiatives important to Missouri farmers and rural communities.
He also cited the pact as another reason to update river lock and dams to help American farmers.
Nixon agreed, calling it "a clear signal we need to keep our rivers open. Much of our grain goes down the Missouri (and) the Mississippi rivers and out into commerce through ships.
"That's another area where Missouri farmers can rest assured that we're going to work together."
Nixon noted the success of trips like this one is based on pre-trip preparation.
"We spend a lot of time reaching out to Missouri companies and associations in our state," he explained, noting a number of private companies were represented on the week-long trip, as well representatives of the Missouri Corn Growers, Soybean and Energy Development associations, the University of Missouri in Columbia and Kansas City, Northwest Missouri State University (Maryville) and Missouri State University, Springfield.