Office of the Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch
Office of the Lt. Gov, Rebecca Kleefisch - Press Release

China Is A Big Opportunity For Wisconsin Products

Monday, December 8, 2014 - Press Release

Wisconsin wants to send our products overseas — not our jobs. And as a market for Wisconsin exports, China is like no other. Wisconsin exports contribute to Chinese industrial sectors such as industrial machinery, medical and scientific instruments, and electrical machinery. In addition, we have a major presence in a Chinese market that no other state can compete with — ginseng.
Wisconsin is No. 1 in the United States for ginseng production, accounting for 95 percent of all ginseng produced in the country. Our ginseng has a reputation for being the purest and highest quality grown in the world, driving strong demand in China, which imports more than 70 percent of the Wisconsin-grown root each year. In fact, just last year Wisconsin made a dent in the ever-growing American trade deficit with China, when Gov. Scott Walker oversaw the signing of a 10-year deal to export $200 million of Wisconsin ginseng to China during his trade mission to the People’s Republic.
It is undeniable that China’s growing economic presence in the world has many countries and states vying for a share of this market. The third-largest market for Wisconsin exports, it is expected to grow further in importance as China’s infrastructure requirements continue to drive demand for goods and services. In just the last 15 years, Wisconsin exports to China have grown from $96 million to $1.656 billion. That’s a 1,725 percent increase! But to stay competitive, Wisconsin needs to play a bigger role in China’s evolving global supply chain. That’s why the Walker-Kleefisch Administration is committed to a path of action that creates the commercial links, the technological ties, and the diplomatic relationships that will position Wisconsin to benefit from Asia’s rise.
We have already made significant strides in assisting Wisconsin companies with international export strategies and the technical and financial assistance to implement those plans. In fact, since we took office, exports have grown by $3.3 billion dollars, a 17 percent increase. But this is Wisconsin, and we can do even more.
That’s why this month I will lead a bipartisan delegation of state and local officials from across the United States on a ten-day mission to the People’s Republic of China. During my trip, our group will meet with officials from various government ministries, commerce and trade associations, Chinese business leaders and scholars. This relationship-building mission is an opportunity to open new doors for our exports, as I build on the foundation laid by governors Jim Doyle and Walker on previous missions.
In China, individual contact is crucial to creating business opportunities, and I hope my trip will start and sustain the personal and commercial ties our companies need to grow our state’s exports.
I am pleased and honored to represent our state on this mission to one of our key trade partners. Wisconsin has great people who make great products, and I will embrace every chance to champion them in new and emerging markets.