Sep 5, 2013 7:26 PM by KBZK News
Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus announced on Thursday he will bring five of the world's most important trading partners to Montana ahead of his Sixth Montana Economic Development Summit in Butte.
Baucus will lead Ambassadors from China, Germany, Japan, Peru, and Canada on a tour of Montana beginning in Kalispell on Friday, September 13th, and making its way through Missoula and Bozeman before arriving in Butte to kick off the Summit with a panel on creating jobs through international trade Monday, September 16th.
Ambassadors will be visiting Montana manufacturing, research and agriculture facilities, tour a ranch and meet with dozens of Montana business owners hoping to increase markets for their products overseas.
"Time and time again we've proven that when we bring the right buyers to Montana, our products and businesses sell themselves," Baucus said. "The more we can open new markets for Montana products around the world, the more jobs we can support here at home."
More than 28,000 jobs in Montana depend on trade with Canada. In 2011, the state exported $55 million worth of agricultural products to Canada, which is also the largest market for American beef at over a billion dollars in 2012.
China, however, bans U.S. beef and is not a significant importer of the nation's wheat either. Opening China's market would give Montana ranchers and farmers access to more than one billion new customers.
The European Union is Montana's third largest export partner after Canada and Korea. In 2011, the state's exports to Germany crossed $40 billion.
The state's sixth largest export partner, with over $63 million worth of Montana imports in 2011, is Japan.
It is also the largest purchaser of Montana wheat, accounting for more than half of Montana's 116 million bushels exported in 2011. In the same year, Japan was the world's third-largest market for American beef but the Japanese average agricultural import tariff of 15.7 percent, is among the world's highest for industrialized countries. Additionally, Japan still has some limits on some American beef.
Baucus has long fought to further open Japan's market for Montana farmers and ranchers.
Peru, the state's fifth trading partner, is also its 11th largest export market totaling nearly $4,500,000 in 2010.
This is Baucus' sixth Ambassadors Tour since 2004.
In that time, Baucus' Ambassadors Tours have brought 20 countries to Montana, including: Japan, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, Taiwan, Bahrain, Chile, China, South Korea, Panama, Colombia, Morocco, Peru, Vietnam, Ireland, Brazil, Canada, and Germany.
In 2011, Baucus also brought cabinet-level officials from 21 economies to Montana for Asia Pacific Economic Development Cooperation (APEC) meetings.
He has also organized at least eight Trade Missions for Montanans to travel to 11 countries: Mexico, Cuba, Japan, China, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, India, Brazil, Colombia and Canada.
Past tours organized by the Senator have yielded significant results on the job front for Montana.
After the Chilean Ambassador toured a state ranch in 2010, Chile fully opened its markets to American beef.
The following year, Baucus announced a $1,500,000 sale from a Montana manufacturer to a South Korean company. That year also saw the purchase of Montana cattle by the Colombian Ambassador and a $500,000 contract with the Australian Military for a Montana manufacturer.
The YouTube video of this announcement can viewed here.