UPDATE: Missouri Gov. Nixon heading to Brazil on trade trip

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 | 5:42 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday that he plans to travel to Brazil to sign a trade agreement that could expand Missouri's exports to the South American country.

Nixon and a delegation of business representatives plan to leave for Brazil on April 14 and return five days later. While there, Nixon plans to sign a deal with the governor of the state of Sao Paulo to expand markets for Missouri-made products. Nixon also is to meet with various other government and industry officials in Sao Paulo and Brasilia and tour Iochpe-Maxion, a Brazilian automotive supplier.

Missouri businesses exported nearly $323 million worth of products last year to Brazil, making it the state's 10th largest international export market.

Accompanying Nixon on the trade mission will be first lady Georganne Nixon, members of his administration, two state lawmakers and representatives of several Missouri businesses. Officials from Missouri State University also plan to go on the trip and sign an agreement for an exchange program with the State University of Maringa in Brazil.

Nixon's travel costs are being covered by the Hawthorn Foundation, a nonprofit group funded and run by Missouri businesses that often finances gubernatorial trips related to economic development. The Hawthorn Foundation also paid for Nixon's trade mission last fall to China.

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