Gov. Walker leading first overseas trade mission to China

MADISON (WITI) -- Gov. Scott Walker is in China this week, leading his first overseas trade mission. Before he left, Gov. Walker sat down with FOX6's Mike Lowe for a one-on-one interview to discuss the reason for the trip, his specific goals and how he's learned a little Chinese.

Gov. Walker leads his first overseas trade mission, spending this week meeting with top Chinese business and political leaders.

"We're looking to open up more markets and more sales operations of our products in China," Gov. Walker said.

Gov. Walker will be touting key Wisconsin industries, including the well-known Badger state staples like manufacturing, dairy farming and water technology -- but he'll also champion some less well-known products.

"One of the ones that will surprise a lot of people outside of North Central Wisconsin is ginseng   We have the world's greatest ginseng here in Wisconsin.  It is one of the biggest fascinations the Chinese people have about any product that comes from the state of Wisconsin," Gov. Walker said.

China is Wisconsin's number one trading partner outside of North America. As China becomes a wealthier nation, and the individual standard of living improves, Gov. Walker is looking to expand sales of Wisconsin-made products like Harley-Davidson motorcycles in emerging markets.

Gov. Walker says months of planning went into the trip and he hopes to walk away with specific signed contracts and agreements.

"To be successful, you don't want to have just a couple of nice meetings, you really have to have a set series of objectives," Gov. Walker said.

Gov. Walker says he sees a growing relationship with a future of increasing exports and imports.

"As long as it's a two-way street, that it doesn't flow one way or the other, I think it will continue to build in relationship," Gov. Walker said.

While he is in China, Gov. Walker will spend some time with the governors of Iowa and Virginia, representing the National Governor's Association in a meeting with some of China's new leaders. They will be some of the first Americans to do so.