Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder meets Chinese leaders in Seattle

Gov. Rick Snyder part of bipartisan delegation discussing economic development with Chinese president

Five U.S. governors meet with President Xi Jinping, Chinese leaders  

Gov. Rick Snyder is part of a bipartisan delegation of U.S. governors that met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and six Chinese governors in Seattle to discuss economic development opportunities that can help both nations.

The event comes a month after Snyder visited China for an investment mission, meeting with government and business leaders to discuss opportunities to sell more Michigan-made goods overseas, spark Chinese investment in the state and promote Michigan as a tourism destination.

“We can take pride in Michigan’s efforts to build strong relationships with China,” Snyder said. “There are many ways we can work together. We certainly have much to offer in terms of quality products that are grown, built or designed here. And we have a workforce known for its talents and innovation – qualities companies consider when they look for places to grow and invest.”

The American and Chinese governors were joined by business leaders and discussed areas of shared interest, such as the promotion of energy efficiency in buildings and industries, commercialization and deployment of clean and renewable energy technologies, smart and modernized electrical grids and clean transportation options.

Joining Snyder was Gov. Terry Branstad (R-Iowa), Gov. Kate Brown (D-Oregon) and Gov. Jerry Brown (D-California). Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Washington) attended a portion of the meeting, as he was hosting Chinese President Xi at a separate event during the same time.   

Chinese governors in attendance were Sichuan Party Secretary Wang Dongming, Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun, Chongqing Mayor Huang Qifan, Zhejiang Governor Li Qiang, Shandong GovernorGuo Shuqing, and Shaanxi Governor Lou Qinjian.

The governors signed an agreement to work together to advance and sustain renewable energy and clean technologies in conjunction with economic development, including a focus on developing autonomous, connected and low-emission vehicles. Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-Nevada) was unable to attend but is signing the agreement.

Michigan is a worldwide leader in automotive innovation in those fields, recently celebrating the opening of Mcity, a first-of-its-kind test track devoted to the study of autonomous and connected vehicles. This month the federal government announced a new Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation will share a facility with Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow in Detroit. The IACMI project will feature government partnering with industry and the state universities to develop fiber-enforced polymer composites for automotive materials that are lighter and stronger than steel – helping vehicles become lighter and more fuel-efficient.

The governors agreed to exchange information in addition to business and academic delegations to advance the work. 

Snyder also was part of a group meeting with President Xi following the forum. The governor has made five investment missions to China, and in August signed an agreement with five major industrial regions of China to increase cooperation and carry out exchanges in industry and agriculture, economic activities and trade, science and technology, and other fields.