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Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon heads to China on economic development mission

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon leaves for China on an economic development mission Wednesday with lieutenant governors from five other states.

The National Lieutenant Governors Association hosts the mission through Oct. 20 with a goal of expanding trade with the world's most populous country.

Joining Prettner Solon will be lieutenant governors from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa and Nebraska. They will meet with a variety of Chinese officials and attend the China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, where they will meet with trade leaders from more than a half-dozen Chinese provinces.

The trade fair in Ghangzhou will be the first stop, followed by visits to Shanghai and Beijing.

On the trip, the six state officials also plan to meet with the World Trade Organization's deputy director and the Swedish state secretary for trade.

They also will meet with Chinese trade, foreign affairs, aviation and education officials.

For more than a decade, China has been led the way in buying more American products.

Earlier this year, Gov. Mark Dayton announced he planned a Chinese trade mission, but that was canceled due to a budget stalemate that led to a state government shutdown in July. The Dayton administration is considering rescheduling that trip.

Dayton has been to China six times in the past decade.

Don Davis reports for Forum Communications Co.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.