September 16,2013

Press Contact:

Sean Neary/Meaghan Smith

Baucus Talks Trade as Key Ambassadors Visit Montana, Nation's Business Leaders Focus on Economy at Senator's Summit

As Trade Tour with Ambassadors Wraps, Finance Chairman’s Conference on Jobs and Economic Growth Begins

BUTTE, MT –Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today brought his ambassadors tour of Montana to Butte, where he officially kicked off his Montana Economic Development Summit, a conference on job creation and economic growth featuring an all-star lineup of U.S. business leaders. 

“The ambassadors tour and the economic development summit are all about one thing – jobs.  These ambassadors represent some of our closest trading partners, and the more Montana products we sell overseas, the more good-paying jobs we’ll create here at home.  And I’m thrilled that this year’s ambassadors tour is leading straight into our biggest economic development summit ever,” Senator Baucus said.  “Right now, Butte is the center of the international business world.  There’s always a whole lot of talk in Washington about job creation that winds up going nowhere, but what we’re doing right here in Butte gets real results.  We’re proving that Montana’s ranchers, farmers, businesses and workers can compete with anybody, anytime.”

During the five-city, four-day ambassadors tour, Senator Baucus took the top diplomats from Canada, China, Germany, Japan and Peru to meet with a range of ranchers, farmers, workers and businesses, showcasing thriving sectors of the state’s economy closely connected to trade and highlighting opportunities to strengthen trade ties.  Four of the five ambassadors on the tour represent nations participating in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and U.S.-E.U. trade negotiations.  Additionally, Canada, China, Germany and Japan are four of the top six markets for U.S. exports.

In Butte, the ambassadors kicked off the economic development summit with a panel on how international trade creates jobs and can help Montana businesses grow.  The summit will continue Monday and Tuesday with several more panels, events and keynote addresses from speakers including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, among many others

Previous ambassadors tours organized by Senator Baucus have brought representatives to Montana from South Korea, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Ireland, Chile and Vietnam.  Former ambassadors from China and Japan have also attended.  The tours have led to significant progress for Montana jobs and exports, including sales of cattle and aircraft equipment last year.  Chile also dropped a ban on U.S. beef exports after its ambassador participated in 2010.

The Montana Economic Development Summit, continuing Monday and Tuesday, will feature keynote speeches by many of America’s top business leaders, including:

  • Eric Schmidt, Google Executive Chairman
  • Elon Musk, SPACEX CEO, Tesla Motors CEO and Product Architect
  • Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Chief Operating Officer
  • Fred Smith, FedEx Founder, Chairman and CEO
  • Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Company President and CEO
  • Meg Whitman, HP President and CEO
  • Jim McNerney, Boeing Chief Executive Officer
  • Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO
  • Safra Catz, Oracle President and CFO
  • Richard Anderson, Delta CEO
  • Jon Huntsman, Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to China