August 24,2012

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Baucus Sees U.S. Export Success Story at Tesla Motors in Tokyo

Finance Chairman Also Meets with American Participants in U.S.-Japan Fellowship Program

Tokyo, JapanSenate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), continuing his trade mission in Japan, inspected the Tesla Motors facility in Tokyo on Thursday to see firsthand the success story of a U.S. exporter to Asia.  Tesla Motors, founded in 2003 and based in Palo Alto, Calif., manufactures electric automobiles and powertrains in their Fremont, Calif. factory and sells automobiles in 37 countries worldwide.  Senator Baucus talked with Tesla representatives about their experience in Japan and the importance of expanding U.S. trade ties overseas to replicate their success elsewhere.

“Tesla is a great example of how exports and trade help the U.S. economy and create good-paying jobs at home in America.  Our trade ties overseas help Tesla sell a world-class product that’s manufactured in the U.S. by top-notch American workers,” Baucus said.  “There are millions of consumers in Japan and across the Pacific ready to buy more American-made goods, and we can continue to open those markets and boost U.S. exports with an aggressive trade agenda.”

Senator Baucus also met today with American students in Japan, as well participants in the Mansfield Fellowship Program, a two-year educational program that sends U.S. federal government employees to work in counterpart positions in Japan.  The program is helping build relationships with the Japanese government and businesses, as well as the professional and academic communities.  The program is named for Mike Mansfield, former Senator from Montana and Ambassador to Japan in the late 1970s.  Senator Baucus talked with the Mansfield fellows about their impressions of Japan and the lessons they have learned during their time working there.

Senator Baucus has been meeting with political and business leaders during a weeklong trade mission in New Zealand and Japan.  While in New Zealand, the Senator met with Prime Minister John Key and Trade Minister Tim Groser, among other political leaders, to discuss the progress of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and to pursue trade opportunities for American businesses that would create additional U.S. jobs.  Senator Baucus also inspected the Mokai geothermal power plant, New Zealand's largest privately developed geothermal project.  In Japan, Senator Baucus met with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Trade Minister Yukio Edano to seek expanded access for U.S. exports.  Senator Baucus also discussed the possibility of Japan joining the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations at some point in the future.