Friday, January 28, 2011

Los Angeles Signs Trade Pact With China

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday inked a non-binding deal with Chinese officials that is hoped to increase economic activity between China and Los Angeles.

Villaraigosa signed the deal with the Investment Promotion Agency of China's Commerce Ministry during a meeting with Chinese business leaders at City Hall.

While few specific details on how the deal would work were presented, Villaraigosa said the agreement called for both sides to examine how to encourage cooperation and mutual investment that might increase imports and exports between Los Angeles and China.

"Today both Los Angeles and China are taking a giant leap forward together to help these businesses reach great heights," the mayor said during the event.

China is already the major trading partner with the neighboring ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, with about 50 percent of the roughly $300 billion worth of cargo handled by the two ports in 2009 coming from or going to the Asian nation. Imports from China handled by the two ports outnumber exports roughly four to one.