SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Gov. Jerry Brown will lead a trade mission to China this spring to promote California businesses and strengthen ties with the world's second largest economy, the governor announced Thursday during his State of the State address.
The Democratic governor is expected to lead a delegation of about 50 businesses, economic development and policy leaders for the mission, currently scheduled April 8-15, said John Grubb, chief of staff for the Bay Area Council, the business group that is organizing the trip.
The trip will focus on reopening California's trade and investment office in Shanghai, which closed in 2003. The delegation also is expected to stop in Beijing and other cities to promote clean energy, entrepreneurialism and California products and tourism.
Brown announced his intention to visit China last year when he welcomed Chinese leader Xi Jinping to California. During that visit, Brown hosted a round table with U.S. and Chinese governors, Xi and Vice President Joe Biden.
"California's exports are booming and our place in the world economy has never been stronger," Brown said in his address. "Our ties with The People's Republic of China in particular are deep — from the Chinese immigrants crossing the Pacific in 1848 to hosting China's next president in Los Angeles last February."
According to the council, attendees will pay their own way and there are federal grants available for promoting the state abroad. That could defray the cost to taxpayers for the governor and his staff.
"The impact on California taxpayers will be very minimal to zero and the benefit will, hopefully, be huge," Grubb said.
This will be Brown's first overseas trip since he took office in 2011, said Brown's spokesman Gil Duran.