Republican Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin is embarking on his first international trade mission next month travelling to Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea to promote economic development. He will also meet with President Tsai Ing-wen to discuss shared priorities like national security. The trade mission comes at a time of heightened tension between the U.S. and China as the governor has taken an increasingly hard line against China.
The visit includes meetings with government officials, strategic business associations, company executives and industry leaders. Virginia is home to many businesses from the countries on Youngkin’s itinerary. This includes five from Taiwan, 133 from Japan and 25 from South Korea.
Ford Motor Co. is making a major impact in the state, bringing electric battery plants that would create thousands of jobs. However, Youngkin scuttled the initiative between Ford and a Chinese company because of security concerns.
During his first year in office, Youngkin also supported legislation that would prohibit foreign adversaries from purchasing or otherwise acquiring agricultural land. This move was widely recognized as a significant step forward in addressing the threat from China.
Though it took longer than typical for a governor, Youngkin has made clear that such trips are necessary. His press office has noted that the governor, a former business executive, has been successful in luring major new businesses to Virginia.
Though Governor Youngkin has yet to officially announce whether or not he will run for president, his meeting with the president of Taiwan and other leaders in the region signals his intention to further strengthen diplomatic ties as well as lend his support to the nation’s allies.
All in all, Governor Youngkin’s visit to Asia is sure to present a promising opportunity for diplomatic growth, increased trade partnerships, and to ensure the welfare of Virginia’s citizens.