Arnold to promote trade, polish image

first_img The China trip “does have the effect of changing the subject,” said Jim Brulte, the state Senate’s former Republican leader. “No election loss is terminal. It’s how you react to it that matters,” Brulte said. Schwarzenegger will leave California Sunday and arrive Monday in Beijing, heading directly to a Special Olympics ceremony and an evening reception with the members of his business entourage. Along with business meetings and forums to pitch California products, Schwarzenegger will attend a film premiere in Shanghai, give a speech at Qinghua University and tour a steel factory. The governor is expected to raise several sticky issues with Chinese officials, including the spread of pirated U.S. software, music and movies. Aides said part of the mission is to try to get Chinese government officials to take voluntary steps to stop the flow of billions of dollars in U.S. property to counterfeiters. Nearly 80 companies and trade groups are sending executives to accompany the governor, including the Walt Disney Co., Miller Brewing, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and Pfizer Inc., according to the governor’s office. The mission will be Schwarzenegger’s third overseas trip, after visiting Israel and Germany in spring 2004 and Japan in the fall of that year. It comes at a time when the Bush administration is eager to open Chinese markets to more U.S. goods. The president leaves Monday on an Asian trip that will take him to Japan, South Korea, China and Mongolia. He plans to pressure China to revalue its currency, reduce its trade surplus with the United States and curb the piracy of American movies, computer programs and other copyrighted material. California is the major gateway for U.S. trade to China, with cotton and computer-related products leading the way. The state exported $6.8 billion in goods to China in 2004, double what it exported in 2000, according to the California Chamber of Commerce. “You have a growing segment of the Chinese population that is able to afford these things,” said Dewardric McNeal, assistant director of the China Initiative at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. “From the political standpoint, we are in a position where the U.S. and China are enjoying relative stability in their relationship. From the economic standpoint, there are quite a few issues where if there is not tension, there is concern, particularly with the currency issue and the growing trade imbalance.” While the actor-turned-governor is virtually assured of considerable publicity, it’s not clear how much good it will do his diminished public standing in California. The China trip originally was planned for last April but was postponed so Schwarzenegger could devote his attention to qualifying several ballot initiatives for the Nov. 8 special election.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LOS ANGELES – After a humiliating election loss, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this weekend jets to China and Hong Kong, where he’ll try to exchange his blistered campaign image for the role of celebrity statesman and retailer. Officially, the Republican governor’s long-scheduled, six-day tour will take him to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to promote trade along the Pacific Rim. He’ll arrive Monday with a retinue of nearly 80 corporate and business executives eager to sell products from pharmaceuticals to Chardonnay to Mickey Mouse in the world’s largest emerging market. A business-connected foundation is picking up part of the trip’s costs, including for the Republican governor, an arrangement that alarmed good-government advocates. For Schwarzenegger, the trip provides a convenient opportunity for favorable publicity just days after his collapse at the polls – voters rejected all four of his “year of reform” ballot proposals Tuesday, severely downsizing his Terminator political reputation. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Schwarzenegger needs to show he’s “not just a politician, not just an actor, but a world leader,” Democratic consultant Joe Cerrell said. The message he should convey? “He’s not the guy who just got his clock cleaned. … He’s for real, he’s not a joke,” Cerrell said. Schwarzenegger is in the midst of a rapid, post-election makeover. He acknowledged Thursday that voters are looking for results, not political sniping. He retired his campaign brawler persona and has talked of a new era of cooperation with his Democratic rivals in Sacramento. He also dropped a legal fight over hospital staffing ratios with the California Nurses Association, a 60,000-member union that has attacked him relentlessly since the start of the year. last_img

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