McDonnell to visit China with other governors

Gov. Bob McDonnell will join several other governors in China next week for a U.S.-China Governors Forum.

The National Governors Association announced that Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will lead the group, including McDonnell, Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

McDonnell has said that he will embark on an economic development trip to China and Japan in April after spending a few days in California working to lure business.

He’s slated to spend April 10-13 in California before launching the overseas trip, which is expected to last nearly two weeks.

It would mark McDonnell’s eighth international trade trip since taking office in January 2010.

McDonnell’s office said the forum is only a part of the governor’s trip but it won’t release details on the rest of the mission, including who else is traveling and the itinerary, until Friday.

The NGA says the forums offer a platform “to promote peer-to-peer exchanges between U.S. governors and Chinese provincial leaders on topics of mutual interest,” among other things.

For the forum, transportation and lodging in China is being paid for by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. The NGA will provide $2,000 to each state to help defray additional costs, according to a NGA spokeswoman.

The governors will visit Beijing and then Tianjin for the forum, during which they are expected to discuss economic and trade cooperation and environmental management.