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(LISTEN): Missouri’s governor touting rail merger during Japan trade mission

(LISTEN): Missouri’s governor touting rail merger during Japan trade mission

Governor Mike Parson addresses the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s transportation future summit on September 22, 2023 in Columbia (file photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

Missouri’s governor, two Cabinet members, state lawmakers and others will wrap up their trade mission to Japan today.

Governor Mike Parson has met with executives from numerous Japanese companies, including Hitachi and Kawasaki. Hitachi has a plant in Jefferson City, and Kawasaki has a large plant in Boonville. The governor says Missouri exported $455-million in products to Japan last year.

“You know we do a lot of trade with them all the way from the chemical side of things to the IT side of things, technology. Just a lot of different things,” Parson says.

Governor Parson spoke to 939 the Eagle News, just before the Japan trade mission. State Department of Agriculture (MDA) director Chris Chinn, state Department of Economic Development (DED) acting director Michelle Hataway, Missouri House Majority Floor Leader Dr. Jonathan Patterson (R-Lee’s Summit) and State Sen. Jason Bean (R-Holcomb) are also on the trip, which is being funded by the nonprofit Hawthorn Foundation.

Governor Parson is working to boost exports there. He’s also hoping to see more direct Japanese investment in the Show-Me State. Governor Parson tells 939 the Eagle that the April merger between Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern is a big deal to Japanese companies looking to invest in Missouri.

“And when you look at what we did in the rail sector of doing the merger with Kansas City Southern and Canadian Pacific (Railway), the first time in North America that you have continuous rail from Canada to Mexico, well those countries overseas look at that,” says Parson.

The merged rail company is based in Kansas City.