The legislature's decision to close the operation nine years ago seemed like a foolish economy. China, which is California's third-largest trading partner, bought $14.1 billion in state-produced goods and services in 2011, and Chinese investors have been snapping up U.S. companies and real estate. Other states, including Florida and Pennsylvania, are said to have benefited from their presence in China. The only weird part is that the trade mission, to be based in Shanghai, will be paid for by the Bay Area Council, an SF-based business group. Yes, there are serious budget problems in Sacramento, but the required investment is small and the payback is large. From press release:
Assembly Bill 2012 was carried by Speaker John Perez and Governor Brown's administration to transfer international trade policy to the state's single point of contact for businesses and job creation efforts, the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). "This bill shows the world California is open for business," said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. "In these tight budget times, the state will not have to spend money to reopen the foreign trade offices. The Bay Area Council applauds Governor Brown and Speaker Perez for their leadership and action on legislation that will continue California's economic recovery."
From the LAT:
In the early 1990s, California operated a dozen trade offices. Lawmakers eliminated support for them from the state budget in 1993 during the tenure of Gov. Gray Davis. A number of studies by state agencies criticized the efficiency and economic benefit of the growing network of trade offices. The last trade office, in Armenia, closed in 2006.