Ruder Ware: Panelists Encourage Wisconsin Businesses and Lawmakers to Get Involved in Global Trade Issues
Madison, WI--A panel of Wisconsin government officials who accompanied Governor Jim Doyle on a recent trade mission to China, told Wisconsin business leaders at a meeting of the Wisconsin World Trade Legislation Council (WWTLC) on Monday that they need to get involved to make a difference.
State Senator Robert Jauch (D-Poplar), speaking at the inaugural meeting of the WWTLC yesterday, gave the Wisconsin State Legislature a rating of “1.2 out of 10” based on its interest in and knowledge of trade-related issues. “Wisconsin is not as globally literate as it ought to be,” Jauch said. While he complimented the Wisconsin Departments of Commerce and Agriculture for their respective roles in trade promotion, Jauch also pointed out “we need to create better awareness of the importance of trade among legislators.”
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Rod Nilsestuen told conference attendees that his department has a thirty-seven year history of trade promotion and that “international trade becomes particularly important when the economy is down.” Aaron Oliver, Executive Assistant at the Wisconsin Department of Commerce indicated that greater trade promotion will help our state in the manufacturing area as well as agriculture. “There is a phenomenal need for construction equipment in China,” Oliver said, “which really creates an opportunity for Wisconsin businesses.”
The mission of the Wisconsin World Trade Legislation Council is to develop a legislative agenda on behalf of its member involved in international trade, to educate policy makers about the need to promote international business, and to lobby on behalf of trade legislation and policies at the state level that will have a positive impact on Wisconsin. According to Gary Goyke, one of the WWTLC’s legislative directors and president of Goyke & Associates, “A record amount of money was spent this last session on lobbying, but none was spent on issues relating to international trade.” Dave Anderson, government relations director for the Ruder Ware Law Firm in Wausau, and another one of the WWTLC’s legislative directors, told attendees “State government has a stake in international business, and the business community has a stake in what state government does or doesn’t do to support international trade activities.”
Information on joining the WWTLC can be obtained by calling Lisa Roys at the Ruder Ware’s government relations office in Madison at (608) 204-5806 or e-mailing her at email@example.com. The WWTLC web site at www.wwtlc.org also has information about the group.