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Mo. gov touts trade deal with S. Korea, Taiwan

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced Thursday morning that his weeklong trip to Asia has produced trade agreements with Taiwan and South Korea worth $1.9 billion over the next four years.

Nixon said $1.2 billion in trade deals with the Korea International Trade Association, the Korea-U.S. Economic Council and the Korea Importers Association will allow Missouri products to be used by South Korean consumers. Earlier in the week, $700 million in similar agreements were struck with Taiwan.

"More Missouri goods sold to consumers overseas means more good jobs for Missourians back home," he said.

Representatives from Missouri businesses joined the governor, including St. Louis-based RIBUS Inc. The manufacturer of rice-based food ingredients reached a deal to expand its distribution agreement with Korean distributor, Ju Yeongns.

While the governor has had success in promoting exports abroad, lawmakers have balked at his plan for a new $2.3 million export initiative in the state's budget for the next fiscal year. The House Budget Committee removed the funding from its final budget recommendation last week.

Nixon visited South Korea during a tense time, but the governor said recent threats of war by North Korea's government have not stopped commerce in the region. He also met with South Korean government officials and laid a wreath at the Korean War Memorial during his trip to honor more than 900 Missouri residents killed in the conflict.

Nixon has been in Asia for almost a week and is scheduled to return Friday.