Governor Pence returns from Japan trade mission - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Governor Pence returns from Japan trade mission

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Governor Pence and the first lady are back from their first foreign trade mission.

With a smile and a high five for a Fishers School kid.

Was it a success? "We got some very encouraging signs from one Indiana employer about a possible expansion. We'll be following up on that. We had twenty meetings with businesses that employ some 44,000 Hoosiers," Governor Pence said.

Those hundreds of new jobs expected to come at a Lafayette based auto parts supplier,  a company that supplies fast-growing Subaru.

Governor Pence said, "As I told Japanese business leaders over and over, Indiana is always a good decision."

University of Indianapolis business professor Dr. Matthew Will says, "Five-point-six percent of all the jobs in Indiana are from foreign owned companies and if you translated that into numbers that's one-hundred-thirty-three thousand jobs."

The business expert tracks Indiana foreign trade and says the Japan trade trips are so important. Japan is Indiana's biggest foreign source jobs investor.

Dr. Will says, "The auto industry alone. Over thirty-five percent of all the manufacturing jobs in Indiana, in the auto industry, are from overseas. So if it weren't for foreign investment, specifically Japanese investment in Indiana, our auto industry would not be anywhere near where it is now."

Grover Pence told Zach Amrhien, a student he met at the airport, to keep up his straight A's.

Experts say education is the key to getting those jobs of the future.

His parents understand importance of that foreign investment.

Scott Amrhien says "Anything that promotes Indiana to the world, the global economy, is fantastic. And Kim agrees. "I grew up in Columbus - that was a huge part of our economy in that town."

The Governor said he heard nothing specifically from Japanese business leaders about the Indiana court ruling throwing out part of the right-to-work law, which analysts say plays a big role in trade.

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