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Rauner off to Tokyo, says he “can’t afford to wait any longer”

Monday, Sep 11, 2017

* Press release from yesterday…

Governor Bruce Rauner arrived in Tokyo where he will start the first international trade mission of his administration. Shortly after his arrival, the governor attended the welcome reception at the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference.

“We are excited to welcome the governor to the MWJA Conference,” said MWJA Executive Director Marie Gaudette. “It’s a great honor that Japan is the destination for his first overseas trade mission and our Midwest U.S.-Japan forum provides a critical foundation for engaging with senior executives of the Japanese business community.”

Following the reception, the governor met with Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman and CEO of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to discuss further trade and investment opportunities. JETRO is a government-related organization which connects overseas companies with Japan in hopes of making Japan the most business-friendly country in the world.

The governor is leading the foreign trade mission with an Illinois delegation of industry and business development leaders from all across Illinois from Sept. 9 -17. The delegation will meet with business, government and education leaders in Japan and China.

“Foreign direct investment and growing exports in Illinois are vital to the prosperity of our businesses, citizens and overall health of our economy,” the governor said. “There is considerable competition among U.S. states to attract foreign investment and trade and Illinois must aggressively market itself.”

Illlinois is home to 630 Japanese companies employing more than 49,000 Illinois residents.

“Illinois is the largest exporting state in the Midwest and the 5th largest exporting state in the U.S.,” Gov. Rauner said. “Illinois depends on world markets and last year our exports totaled more than $60 billion, which supported thousands of businesses and tens of thousands of workers.”

More info on the Midwestern conference is here.

* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

Rauner said he’s making his first international trip now because Illinois can’t afford to wait anymore.

“Frankly, I didn’t feel it was appropriate to travel around the world when we haven’t been able to get a balanced budget and reforms so that we can keep the budget balanced,” he said. “Now we have a budget, it’s not balanced, we didn’t get reforms, but I can’t afford to wait any longer. We have got to bring businesses here.”

* Other attendees

Mark Peterson, President & CEO, Intersect Illinois; Erik Brejla, Assistant Deputy Director, Regional Economic Development, Illinois Department of Commerce;
Kelly Nicholl, Chief Marketing Officer, Intersect Illinois; Jason Anderson, Economic Development Director, City of Rochelle; Paul J. Borek, Executive Director, DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation; Inga Carus, CEO & President, Carus Corporation; Jonathon Hallberg, Executive Director, Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation; Sheila Owens, Vice President of Economic Development & Business Development, ComEd; Edward Seidel, Vice President of Economic Development and Innovation, University of Illinois System.

Carus Corporation is headquartered in Peru. Add in Rochelle and DeKalb and there are bunch of folks from that general area on the trip. Not sure what that means yet.

Either way, the governor is gone for the rest of the week so things should calm down a bit here.

* By the way, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is also in Tokyo…


Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is also attending the conference.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

26 Comments
  1. - Ghost - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    And with the gov out of the state the lt gov seizes power!

    I miss the old days when the lt gov could be from a different party to the gov….


  2. - Anon221 - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    Carus may be there on double-duty… also representing Intersect Illinois:

    http://www.bcrnews.com/2017/01/27/rauner-recognizes-inga-carus/akfpb9g/


  3. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:07 am:

    Gov. looks like he’s perched rather than seated comfortably. He gets TWO buttons! Whoop, Whoop, GO Illinois!


  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    Is the governor also contacting those “dozens” or “hundreds” of businesses (depending on the day of the week) he claimed to have lined up to relocate to Illinois?

    Because he was telling the truth about that, right?


  5. - Lee County - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    Rochelle and Dekalb were the Illinois sites for the Toyota-Mazda plant according to the Tribune a couple months ago.


  6. - RNUG - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    Why does he need to go to Tokyo? Thought he had lots of companies ready to relocate here once we make it a company owner’s paradise? /s


  7. - The Captain - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    Landing Amazon’s HQ2 is by far the biggest fish out there and how bad is Rauner’s luck that that opportunity becomes public right as he’s leaving the country?

    Lost in all of the political war of the last three years is that originally this was supposed to be Rauner’s biggest selling point, he promised he could bring these companies and these jobs to Illinois. Now let’s see if he can deliver.

    If he can’t, that’s on him, no excuses. Yes the state has a worse reputation than when he took office, he’s been badmouthing it everywhere he goes. Yes the state is in much worse financial shape than when he took office, he intentionally drove it into the ground to try and get the leverage he wanted to pass his agenda. He did those things knowing full well that he also promised to bring jobs here, it’s put up or shut up time.


  8. - Anon221 - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    “Add in Rochelle and DeKalb and there are bunch of folks from that general area on the trip. Not sure what that means yet.’

    Probably the Toyota-Mazda deal-makin’…

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/


  9. - Arsenal - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    == “Now we have a budget, it’s not balanced, we didn’t get reforms==

    Four more years!


  10. - Norseman - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    It’s telling that WI and IN are there. Rauner has to follow their lead. /s

    Rauner didn’t promote the state because he wanted to push his sky is falling narrative to justify his hostage-taking. Now that he faces a tough reelection campaign Rauner decides to act like a governor.


  11. - Lincoln Parker - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    That looks like Cubs owner & Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts between Rauner & Walker


  12. - cailleach - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    Did any IL Statehouse press go to this too? If not we’ll probably have only Rauner’s word about how hard he’s fightin’ to bring jobs to IL. Yes he needs wins to claim as he runs for reelection, but he also steps on his own message. He can’t seem to help himself. He really wants IL bankrupt so he can break those dang unions. I predict he’ll talk a big game while workin’ to tank any possible deals. He’ll claim “Oh well, I tried, but Madigan . . .”


  13. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    Can’t wait anymore had to go even tho budget balanced and no reforms. Did he also bring up bad workman’s comp laws, high taxes, poor business environment, mean lawyers, aging infrastructure and Madigan, Madigan Madigan. Rauner is nothing if not a born salesman


  14. - Langhorne - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    For someone who saves the truth for special occasions, you would think the gov would find a better sounding message than failure:

    ==Now we have a budget, it’s not balanced, we didn’t get
    reforms, but I can’t afford to wait any longer.==

    Is the next act big cuts to programs? Is that combination what will get repub newbies elected–failure, tax increase, and cuts?


  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    I dunno…

    Rauner’s favorite pitch seemed to be “Illinois is the worst”

    Any smart company looking to relocate would be very wise to ask…

    “If Illinois is the worst, and there aren’t any reforms you claimed you messed, why would I spend time listening to you? You’ve been a failure for nearly 3 years, and, you’ve said yourself your state is the worst… so… what are you really talking about?”

    I’ve yet to come across any governor for nearly three years that bad-mouthed their state at the lengths and depths Bruce Rauner relished to do.

    Now… now Rauner wants to “sell” the great state of Illinois?


  16. - Henry Francis - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:41 am:

    I was wondering if anyone from Intersect would be going. Still trying to figure just what those guys do.

    Kelly Nichols got a free trip out this. She is the longest serving officer at Intersect. A superstar that was enticed from Indiana. For the past 2 years all I can gather is she re-tweets all day long and not much else. I haven’t seen any advertising for the state and their website is a joke. Check out their “successes”

    http://intersectillinois.org/news

    I like the Guv’s new look. Power suit with a tie (exclamation point). His clothes are neatly pressed and not ill-fitting. I wonder if he is dropping his g’s and talkin’ bidness?


  17. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    Finally. He put on a tie and it doesn’t have fishing lures on it. Yay.


  18. - Jakep - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    Rochelle is home to Japanese train car manufacturing? http://www.nipponsharyousa.com/contactus.html


  19. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    I’m sure Rochelle is included because of a giant rail hub in the I-88/ I-39 city. The logistics business is big in Rochelle and tons of freight is off loaded from the PNW and Long Beach and broken up into trucks that to go to Chicago. It’s similar rail field to that owned by BNSF in Joliet.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    Rauner wearing a suit and tie says one of two things…

    Rauner is a flat out phony when trying to fool the people of Illinois and thinks so little of us that he thinks being s caricature works on us rubes (he won his election, so… )

    Rauner is a flat out phony to leaders in government and bidness, wearing a costume and speakin’ their lingo and using monies gained by closing senior homes and profits from running state pensions allows Rauner to pretend to be a good bidness man fooling “really important people” who need ties and suits so Bruce can help us simple rubes.

    Can’t be both.


  21. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:51 am:

    They let the governor bring all that baloney on the plane?


  22. - Porgy Tirebiter - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    As long as he is over there and he is such a skilled negotiator can we send him to North Korea?


  23. - Working Night and Day - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    Is ComEd along for the ride to give pointers on how to move beyond mere million-dollar state subsidies to the big league billion dollar subsidy level?


  24. - Joe M - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    Do the job creators from Japan and China get as excited about term limits as much as their U.S. counterparts?


  25. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 12:23 pm:

    “Now we have a budget, it’s not balanced, we didn’t get reforms, but I can’t afford to wait any longer.”

    Nice sales pitch.


  26. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 6:30 pm:

    “Illinois is the worst”
    “the great state of Illinois”

    1.4%, please make up your mind. Either it is the worst or it’s a great State. It can’t be both.


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