April 11 - California Governor Jerry Brown kicks off his China tour to promote the Golden State's wine, produce and technology. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) California Governor Jerry Brown began a six-day China tour to bolster commercial ties with the world's second largest economy on Wednesday (April 10). It is California's first such effort in China since 2004, when the state abruptly shut down such operations in a dozen countries following a budget crisis. Before setting off for the Chinese capital on Saturday (April 6), Brown said he was aiming for a big win by pitching the Golden State's wine, produce and technology and opening a trade office in Shanghai. Chinese consumers have "hundreds of billions in savings," Brown told Reuters in an interview, saying he was determined to persuade at least some of them to spend it by purchasing goods from California and investing in the state's businesses. On Wednesday, Brown signed a landmark agreement with China's Ministry of Commerce, establishing a joint working group that involves California, the Commerce Ministry and six Chinese provinces, and will meet regularly to discuss trade and investment cooperation. The Memorandum of Understanding also specified cooperation in infrastructure, biotechnology, information technology, agriculture, energy, manufacturing, tourism, environmental protection and exhibitions. Brown is brining about 75 business leaders with him on the trip, along with numerous members of his staff and his wife, businesswoman and attorney Anne Gust Brown. He plans to make stops in a number of cities during the six-day trip, including Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The tour is the second stage in the governor's efforts to develop commercial ties with China. Last year, Chinese leader Xi Jinping, then China's vice president and now its president, visited California. The two leaders discussed setting up a joint task force on commercial development.