You Are Here: Home » Opinions » Was Governor Scott’s trip to Chile a trade mission or vacation?

Was Governor Scott’s trip to Chile a trade mission or vacation?

Roger Caldwell

Roger Caldwell

Was Governor Scott’s trip to Chile a trade mission or vacation?

By Roger Caldwell

Politicians would like their constituents to think the are always working, when they are spending their friends and taxpayers money. Governor Scott has gone on eight trade missions for the state of Florida and there is no empirical evidence that the trip has improved our state’s economy. Ex-Governor Bush went on 16 trade missions when he was governor, and I am sure that it was financed by Enterprise Florida, and theoretically it was not paid by taxpayers.

Basically, these trade missions supposedly cost the state’s taxpayers very little and the bulk of the money comes from private donations, and large Florida companies. On this trip to Chile, there were 100 people, including top officials from the state’s ports and leaders of companies such as Florida Power & Light. The trip took place during the week of May 20th and Scott claims it was extremely successful. He put a press release out that $39 million in sales is expected from the trip.

Scott defends the trade missions as a way to open doors for Florida based companies seeking business aboard. I would encourage more African American Florida based businesses to find a way to get on the list, and be included in the trips. It is important that there is diversity on these trips, and all Florida businesses must begin to develop a global perspective when they plan to expand their business.

“I think the most important thing you do is that you build relationships for companies that wouldn’t get meetings if I didn’t go on trade missions. You allow them to network with companies overseas,” says Governor Scott.

I am sure that the companies and folks that received an opportunity to be on the trade missions also had some time for fun. With the scandal at the IRS, where the leaders spent $50 million dollars on conferences, the members on the trade missions are keeping their mouths shut. Basically, what goes on in Chile stays in Chile, and there was partying and I am sure there was drinking, and everyone had a good time.

Democratic Leader Perry Thurston D-Plantation is skeptical about whether the trips produce as much value as Scott contends. Thurston thinks that the governor needs to prove with hard facts that the trade missions are successful.

Trade missions are not going away and Scott’s administration is planning the next trade mission to be in Japan. “These trips are exceptional opportunities to showcase everything Florida’s economy has to offer – from seaport infrastructure and affordable, reliable energy to great schools and a talented diverse workforce,” says Eric Silagy, president of FPL.

As a result of the Chile Trade Mission, Governor Scott announced that Crystal Lagoons, a Chilean company will set up their corporate headquarters in Miami. A major Chilean hotel chain, Ation Hotels will be building its first hotel in Miami, and a Florida lab will be partnering with a Chilean Company.

Florida is not waiting for countries to come to them; they are being aggressive and marketing the state. Governor Scott is a master salesman, and he knows how to make a deal, but I wonder if everyone was working or just having a good time. There are still many questions concerning these trade missions, and it would be good if the governor was more transparent with the financing of these trips.

Be Sociable, Share!

    Leave a Comment

    Site Designed By

    Scroll to top