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*** UPDATED x1 *** A sparse trade delegation

Tuesday, Sep 12, 2017

* The Illinois Policy Institute’s news service has a story on Gov. Rauner’s trade mission to Japan and China

Moweaqua, Illinois, soybean farmer Austin Rincker is also marketing chairman for the Illinois Soybean Association and an at-large director for the association. He said he hopes the governor works to increase soybean exports.

“Here, we’re kind of in the lower commodity price kind of environment,” Rincker said, “so we need to be looking for more markets and expanding our export markets.”

Soybeans were Illinois’ second-most exported commodity, increasing 51 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to the US Census Bureau.

Rincker said China’s need for soybeans for hog feed is growing, but one thing lawmakers need to focus on is taken care of Illinois’ infrastructure.

“We’ve got so much infrastructure in Illinois with the river systems, rail and things like that,” Rincker said, “we’ve got so many neat ways of getting soybeans exported out of Illinois, and that just makes us a pretty unique state for serving export markets.”s trip.

Increasing exports would be great, but the governor did not bring a single representative of Illinois agriculture or agribusiness with him on this trip.


Wisconsin’s governor brought along 13 executives from eight Wisconsin companies to Japan. Rauner brought just one, from the LaSalle-Peru area. Click here to see the progress reported today by Indiana’s governor, who is attending the same conference. I have yet to see a release from Gov. Rauner today. If he brings home that big Toyota plant, then all will be forgotten, however.

* The Pritzker campaign tossed in its two cents earlier today…

Bruce Rauner is on a trade mission to Asia this week, but he might have issues drumming up business after his manufactured budget crisis devastated the Illinois economy.

Let’s look at the ways the Illinois economy has suffered under Bruce Rauner’s failed leadership:

    Small Business Centers Devastated: One quarter of Small Business Development Centers have closed, slashing the number of jobs created and retained by them.

    Infrastructure Crumbling: One in every three miles of roads and one in ten bridges is heading for unacceptable condition next year.

    Employees Laid Off: Nearly 7,500 higher education jobs were lost.

    Universities Decimated: 72,000 fewer students enrolled in Illinois public colleges and universities.

    Social Service Workers Laid Off: Lutheran Social Services, the state’s largest social service provider, cut over 750 jobs due to lack of funding.

    Credit Ratings Downgraded: Five Illinois universities were downgraded to junk status, and the state credit rating remains only one notch above junk status.

    Population Shrinking: For three consecutive years, Illinois has lost more population than any other state.

    Roadwork Suspended: 20,000 IDOT employees were temporarily laid off, costing the state $34 million in economic activity and one week of work.

“Bruce Rauner devastated the economy, bad mouthed the state, and is now trying to convince businesses to come to Illinois,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “If Rauner wants to attract businesses, he should figure out how to lead our state instead of running it into the ground.”

*** UPDATE ***  I hope he talked with more than one company

On conversations with Japanese businesses leaders

Rauner: There are more than 630 Japanese companies that have invested in Illinois. They have more than 1,200 locations, which is incredible, and they employ almost 50,000 Illinoisans now. … But we do talk candidly about the things that we’re trying improve and what I’m trying to do as governor. The most important thing we can do in Illinois is not only invest in our education — and I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished in education — but to make our business climate more attractive, and the regulatory climate and also the taxes.

I did hear from one company that wants to grow in Illinois. (On Sunday) we met with them. (Rauner declined to name the company.) And they emphasized property taxes were a hindrance. They were very candid about it. We talked about how we’re working to reduce the property taxes. They were excited to hear that because they’d like to invest and grow in Illinois, but the property taxes are a problem and they asked us for help.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 1:23 pm:

    Run, Bruce, Run. And don’t stop til you reach the Arctic.

  2. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 1:34 pm:

    “If Rauner wants to attract businesses, he should figure out how to lead our state instead of running it into the ground.”

    This is exactly why I am supporting Pritzker over other Dems. He gets it. I don’t care about “oh the billionaires” or “a new deal” or “the rigged system”. I care about our Governor actively running the state into the ground. Very well said.

  3. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 1:35 pm:

    Walker probably talked Bruce into going when they were together at a Koch brothers retreat — to make Wisconsin look good by comparison.

  4. - Linus - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 1:35 pm:

    I heard on the radio this morning that, overseas, the Governor is singing the praises of Illinois’ universities. And I nearly spit out my coffee, considering what he’s done to higher ed.

  5. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 1:46 pm:

    Walker probably talked Bruce into going when they were together at a Koch brothers retreat — to make Wisconsin look good by comparison.=

    Ouch babe!

  6. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 1:55 pm:

    An Illinois trade delegation with no one from ag?

    How does that make any sense?

    Next stop is a market with 1.4B consumers with an increasing appetite for protein derived largely from pork. And no Illinois feed or pork producers on the trip?

    Who put this together? The lack of ag representation did not strike Rauner or BTIA as an inexplicable oversight?

  7. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 1:56 pm:

    What kind of governor brings no companies on a trade mission to Japan? What’s the point? Oh right, a failed governor who has no clue how to do his job. Who deserves more blame for this one, the BTIA or Rauner himself? Discuss.

  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 1:56 pm:

    ===How does that make any sense?===

    It doesn’t. At all.

    And you forgot the ™ by the way. lol

  9. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 2:01 pm:

    =An Illinois trade delegation with no one from ag?=

    Yeah, didn’t Rauner say Ag is the backbone of our state economy at one of his (dog) whistle stops?

    How can it be our backbone and not even a part of our trade mission?

    Unless……he thinks he completely killed the economy?

  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 2:06 pm:

    Bruce Rauner was ill-prepared to put Illinois in the best light overseas to sell Illinois.

    Gross negligence of not having a single Ag Representative highlights two important things about Bruce Rauner

    1) Rauner has no idea how these trade thingies work.

    2) Rauner was in such a hurry to leave Illinois and the mess of the BTIA(tm) behind, the idea to be prepared was second to just getting out of Illinois and his own bad press.

    The incompetency of Rauner and the BTIA(tm) isn’t surprising, but what is surprising is that there’s no end to the incompetency in sight.

    This trade mission and the ill-prepared Governor Rauner is Rauner’s governing in microcosm.

  11. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 2:16 pm:

    Isn’t this where the Guv’s pets at Intersect should have shined? I mean the BTIA ™ are new at this, and they have to run the whole state. Whereas the folks at Intersect are so much better than anyone who would work for the “government” (that’s why we had to set up this private org) and they are so laser focused on improving the business climate - aren’t they the ones leading this mission with the Guv?

  12. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 2:22 pm:

    What is the point of a trade mission to a foreign country where you don’t bring any businesspeople for that foreign country to trade with?

    Glad us taxpayers could fund a vacation for Bruce to visit the country that is home to the company that until Bruce Rauner was governor employed almost 2,000 people in my community.

    Has Rauner ever said or even been asked what steps his administration took to try to keep the Mitsubishi plant open?

  13. - Claude Peppers - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 2:31 pm:

    Is his Ag Director joining him?

  14. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 2:34 pm:

    You’re not going to like this.

    According to the U.S. Trade Rep. website, the top U.S. exports to China in 2016 were soybeans and aircraft at $15B each.

    Total ag exports to China were $21B. Soybeans were first at $15B, corn was second at $1B, and pork products were fourth at $715M.

    Among the states, Illinois ranks first in soybean production, and second in both corn and pork production, behind Iowa.

    So the leading ag exports to the largest consumer market in the world are products in which Illinois leads the nation.

    And there’s an Illinois trade delegation going to that market without a single rep. from those producers.

    What the heck is going on? Did they all hit their heads on something hard?

    Sorry for no links, can’t cut and paste with this gadget. But the google will deliver the above information in a second.

  15. - Moe Berg - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 2:35 pm:

    It may seem strange, and it may seem incompetent, but it’s Bruce being Bruce.

    Bruce cares about Bruce. Period. His politics and style isn’t Democratic or Republican, it’s not liberal or conservative. It is dominance over others. His zeal for destroying unions is because they are one of the last bastions of collective resistance to the unchecked power of wealthy individuals like Bruce Rauner. They impede his dominance over others.

    He’s the alpha. His morality begins and ends with himself and what he wants. It’s baseball, but the only players are batters; there are no teams in the field. There is no group cooperation, a sum larger than its individual parts.

    He plays at being governor (as disaster photo ops, for which he has to be prodded to show, and endless Twitter pics, always with same plastered on grin, amply demonstrate), never taking the time or effort to learn anything about the constitution, laws or institutions; never doing the hard work of cultivating and charming lawmakers, or building coalitions.

    Rauner isn’t alone on this trip because his staff let him down. Rauner’s alone because that’s how he likes it. Trying to apply normal concepts of morality and how a decent person relates and cares about others to Rauner will only lead to bafflement and frustration. Even by the standards of senior business execs, he is an extreme outlier on the bell curve of humanity.

    Bruce is the worst possible governor for Illinois at this moment in our history.

  16. - very old soil - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 2:38 pm:

    Is the former executive director of the Illinois Pork Producers Association still working in the Governor’s office?

  17. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 2:41 pm:

    C’mon guys, quit giving Brucey such a hard time! The delegation is sparse because you can’t have anyone smarter than Bruce on the trip. We wouldn’t want him embarrassed by more intelligent and successful people now would we?

  18. - Norseman - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 2:41 pm:

    === Who put this together? The lack of ag representation did not strike Rauner or BTIA as an inexplicable oversight? ===

    I guess we need to take into consideration that Rauner and the BTIA(TM) are not used to promoting the state. Too busy bad mouthing the state to justify his destruction of higher ed, social services …

  19. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 2:46 pm:

    Guys, you forget DCEO is a husk. Rauner long dried DCEO on the vine. It is shriveled and feckless. All effort and money went into intersect. Oh, I err. Hundreds of millions went to corporate welfare in EDGE agreements.

    The real reason why Rauners delegation is small is because he’s never cared about the base(s) of the Illinois economy, small business and ag. He cares only for finance and large corporate interests as represented by Intersect.

  20. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 3:01 pm:

    “I did hear from one company that wants to grow in Illinois. (On Sunday) we met with them. (Rauner declined to name the company.) And they emphasized property taxes were a hindrance. They were very candid about it. We talked about how we’re working to reduce the property taxes. They were excited to hear that because they’d like to invest and grow in Illinois, but the property taxes are a problem and they asked us for help.”

    Sorry, but I’m calling malarkey on that update. I think the guy who’s been lying about his grandparents and lying about conversations with Madigan just told another whopper. Give me a break. Total Rauner failure…again.

  21. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 3:04 pm:

    To the update: pics or it never happened.

  22. - Ghost - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 3:14 pm:

    um hello?!? IPI and Rauner we can sell soybeans to members of the pacific trade alliance that we pulled out if, the tarriffs for nonmemebrs jack our prices too much.

    instead of wasted trips to japan and china perhaps you should get us back in as a signatory

  23. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 3:16 pm:

    ===I did hear from one company that wants to grow in Illinois. (On Sunday) we met with them. (Rauner declined to name the company.) And they emphasized property taxes were a hindrance. They were very candid about it. We talked about how we’re working to reduce the property taxes. They were excited to hear that because they’d like to invest and grow in Illinois, but the property taxes are a problem and they asked us for help.===

    The governor talked to ONE company and that company, he won’t name, was obsessed with property taxes?


    Wonder what brand of phony this is trying to help.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 3:22 pm:

    “And I told this one company I won’t name that Illinois has the worst property taxes, dead last, and I can’t get anything done, but I have this agenda that, if it passes, I’ll release the state from the destruction I’m forcing. I think we’re close to closing this deal, so I won’t name the company… ”

    - Fake Governor Rauner, practicing in front of a mirror the phony story of the day, to win the messaging and help the Fake RaunerS brand.

  25. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 3:24 pm:

    (Paraphrasing next ‘conversation’ Bruce had with another unnamed company)

    So I was talking with this other company, never done business in Illinois before. They sell this really great product, that would sell like gangbusters. It really would, I mean it’s NUTS how much they could sell in Illinois. But this company, located in Japan…all they could talk about was Right To Work. They said, and I quote “Bruce, if you pass RTW, we’ll come. Tomorrow”.

    God’s honest truth.

  26. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 3:25 pm:

    One company?

    You’ve got to be kidding. Where are the dozens/hundreds of companies bangin’ at Rauner’s door?

    And now — finally — he talks to — one company.

    He’s either lying. Or he has no idea what he’s doing.

    Both, I fear, plausible.

  27. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 3:35 pm:

    My mind is still boggling over this trade mission with no companies and no trade. Did he go on the mission just so he could concoct a story about a company that would locate in IL but for the property taxes? Oh, and maybe the gov has missed the fact that property tax abatement is a tool in the arsenal for attracting companies to IL. Even more reason why his story is just absurd.

  28. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 3:51 pm:

    “I did hear from one company that wants to grow in Illinois. (On Sunday) we met with them. (Rauner declined to name the company.) And they emphasized property taxes were a hindrance. They were very candid about it.”

    The Japanese company also talked about an election night cellphone conversation with Mike Madigan in which he bragged about corruption. Bruce knows its true because the story was translated by his non-English speaking immigrant grandfather.

    – MrJM

  29. - DuPage Bard - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 3:54 pm:

    So I gotta guy…….I met him over in Japan……wants to do a lotta business…….but he needs a few things first.
    Any takers?

  30. - Generic Drone - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 3:59 pm:

    Yep, property taxes. Just stop any ol joe on the street in Japan and what’s the first and foremost item on their mind? Illinois high property taxes. Yessir! Good ol Japan has Rauners back too!

  31. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 4:08 pm:

    “One company?”

    And just after he said 630 companies have already invested here. He nearly wrecked an entire state for this?

  32. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 4:08 pm:

    Hey Paulie…Take the trade delegation…leave the negotiators at home…

  33. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 4:13 pm:

    Oh, so it’s property taxes today. And here I thought it was Worker’s Comp, Redistricting and Term limits that were scaring away businesses. Glad we got that cleared up.

  34. - Ghost - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 4:16 pm:

    It aint property taxes, its that we bowed out of the pacific trade agreement. every member country sells products tariff free to each other. We backed out so we pay large tarriffs. it aint property taxes its the tariffs. we need to sign on if we want oversease sales

  35. - Huh? - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 4:16 pm:

    Is 1.4% on a state-funded boondoggle or is he paying this out of his own pocket?

  36. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 4:25 pm:

    This is driving me crazy.

    Among the states, Illinois is the third largest exporter of ag products.

    In 2015:

    CA: $23B
    IA: $10B
    IL: $8B

    It should be noted, Illinois ag exports declined from $9.7B in 2014 to $8B in 2015.

    And in case BTIA(TM) was unaware, Rauner’s electoral base is where soybeans, corn and pork are produced in this state.

    So…. maybe those ag guys should be included on trade delegations to Asia. I hear there’s a lot of people there who like to eat.

  37. - dbk - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 4:26 pm:

    Incredibly unprofessional - the Japanese won’t be happy about that at all. They like things well-prepared far in advance.

    Appalling that he didn’t take a single ag rep with him - I mean, IL is like no. 1 or no. 2 exporter in 6 or 7 categories. We’re from corn country, and this is beyond even a central Illinoisan’s tolerance level for ineptitude.

    Could someone remind me why he even wanted to be governor in the first place? I just don’t get it.

  38. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 4:27 pm:

    Pardon, 4:25 was me.

  39. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 5:00 pm:

    Sorta weird. The US govt subsidizes the ag industry with my tax dollars. China subsidizes their steel industry. Our guys go on unemployment and SNAP. The natural hattrick. Go get em Bruce. Maybe CAT and DEERE can get a bit of those EDGE dollars and we can sell them some machinery.

  40. - City Zen - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 5:03 pm:

    ==It should be noted, Illinois ag exports declined from $9.7B in 2014 to $8B in 2015.==

    The value of U.S. agricultural exports as a whole declined in 2015. Soybeans exports were down 20% nationally that year. All the large soybean exporters experienced 15-25% drops.

  41. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 5:06 pm:

    City Zen, that’s why you have trade visits — to drum up new business.

    Or that’s the purpose of some, anyway.

  42. - RNUG - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 6:12 pm:

    == the property taxes are a problem ==

    So where is Rauner’s income tax increase for property tax reduction proposal?

  43. - James - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 7:05 pm:

    Did Diana accompany the Governor to Japan?

  44. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 8:08 pm:

    So, how does our Gov blame this pitiful trade delegation on Madigan? After all, if anything goes it’s always Mike’s fault.

  45. - Generic Drone - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 11:29 pm:

    Yessir. The one item that is foremost on the minds of the Japanese is Illinois property taxes. Yessir,Rauner cant walk past a regular Joe in Japan and they wanna talk Illinois property taxes. Get real.

  46. - cc - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 2:31 am:

    Wonder if he rode through the streets carrying a bouquet of milkweed while riding the frozen butter cow that was perched atop a manure spreader?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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