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Letters: California courts the Chinese

April 16, 2013

Re "China trip of dubious value," Column, April 11

George Skelton takes a narrow, cynical view of California's recent trade mission to China. He does a disservice to the dozens of businesses and economic development groups from throughout the state that paid their own freight with the genuine purpose of showing China that California is eager to expand bilateral trade and investment.

The public-private partnership that Skelton finds unseemly is a legitimate and widely used tool for funding projects that serve the public good when public dollars are tight. And the law authorizing it provides strong disclosure requirements to ensure transparency.

California can't sit on its hands when it comes to competing globally, particularly in China. Indeed, the governors of Utah and Virginia have recently publicized plans to meet with California CEOs in an effort to attract Golden State businesses before heading their own trade missions to China.

The realities of the global market require our attention to opportunities that will foster direct foreign investment in California's recovering economy.

William Allen, Los Angeles

Jim Wunderman, San Francisco

Allen is president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.; Wunderman is president and chief executive of the Bay Area Council.


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