OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire will be leaving next month for a weeklong trade mission to Ireland and England.
Gregoire announced Wednesday she would be leading a delegation of more than 40 people from the state's aerospace, green energy and technology industries.
She cited exports of Washington-made goods jumping to a record $64.6 billion in 2011, and said the state needs to "build on that success" with face-to-face meetings with companies looking to do business in Washington.
"Our efforts to boost our state exports are working," Gregoire said in a written statement announcing the trade mission.
The governor will arrive in Dublin on July 4 to tour a tidal energy manufacturing facility. She also will introduce aerospace supply companies to executives at plane manufacturer Bombardier at its Belfast office to encourage the hiring of more Washington aerospace supply companies as it builds new aircraft. She will meet with executives at Airbus at the company's Broughton, Wales office.
Gregoire and the delegation will then travel to London, where on July 9 she will help open the Washington State Pavilion at the 2012 Farnborough Air Show. More than 50 aerospace companies and several aerospace consortiums representing more than 200 Washington aerospace businesses will be exhibiting at the air show.
Gregoire spokeswoman Karina Shagren said money remaining from delegate fees from prior trade missions will pay for the trip for the governor and two staffers.
Grants will cover the travel costs for staff from the Department of Commerce who are attending. However, Commerce Director Rogers Weed's travel costs will come out of the agency's budget, and Alex Pietsch — who leads the new Governor's Office on Aerospace — will have his travel costs paid out of the Office of Financial Management budget. The private parties who make up the delegation will pay for themselves.