WASHINGTON—A delegation of four state and territorial governors are headed to China next week to participate in the third U.S.-China Governors Forum (Forum). Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will lead the delegation, which includes Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
The first forum was held in 2011 during the National Governors Association (NGA) Annual Meeting in Utah, where four Chinese provincial leaders participated. The second Forum was held in Beijing in the fall of 2011.
Subnational dialogues, such as these international forums, serve as a platform to promote peer-to-peer exchanges between U.S. governors and Chinese provincial leaders on topics of mutual interest and explore opportunities to promote practical cooperation and friendship between the two countries. Past topics have included trade and investment; educational exchanges; and cooperation on energy and the environment.
The governors will first visit Beijing and then travel to Tianjin for the Forum. Topics at the third Forum are expected to focus on economic and trade cooperation and environmental management. Governors will hear from both U.S. and China experts on the issues and then share a dialogue among the leaders. The delegation also is expected to meet with other Chinese state leadership and with Gary Locke, U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.
“The U.S.-China Governors Forum provides an invaluable opportunity to discuss job creation and develop new economic opportunities that will benefit us all in the future,” said Gov. Branstad. “The breadth of those opportunities should capture not only traditional business-to-business relationships, but also through other innovative exchanges.”
“We’re aggressively pursuing tourism and investment from China,” said Gov. Calvo. “We are building on the work we’ve already done that will ultimately lead to job creation and economic growth.”
“If we want to see job and economic growth in Virginia, we know we must work closely with international partners,” said Gov. McDonnell. “Governors are always looking for opportunities to create jobs at home through increased trade and new international investments.”
“Governors are committed to promoting a meaningful dialogue and improving relations that create opportunities for both our countries,” said Gov. Walker. “Often times, much more can be accomplished by governors talking to governors and not national capital to national capital.”
The forum was established in 2011 during former Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang signed a Memorandum of Understanding supporting the establishment of a U.S.-China Governors Forum. Since then, NGA has partnered with the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries to plan the events.
The governors are bringing state delegations and many have additional plans throughout the week.