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Potential White House hopeful Walker on London visit

February 9, 2015

MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker began a four-day trade mission to London on Monday, marking the latest Republican with potential presidential aspirations to make such a trip to the United Kingdom.

Walker is trying to bolster his foreign policy credentials ahead of the 2016 presidential campaign. Walker previously led a trade mission to China and attended a trade-related meeting in Japan in 2013. He has also said he is working on scheduling a trip to Israel later this year.

Walker’s London trip comes on the heels of a visit there last week by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was there in January as part of a 10-day trade mission across Europe. Then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also traveled to the UK last year. All are Republicans considering a run for president.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a likely Democratic contender, was in London last summer as part of her book tour.

The United Kingdom is Wisconsin’s sixth largest export market, bringing in nearly $700 million worth of products annually from the state. Great Britain has historically been interested in Wisconsin machinery and advanced manufacturing companies, but demand is growing for Wisconsin companies in life sciences, water technology and the service industries, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Wisconsin imported about $290 million worth of products from Great Britain in 2013.

Walker has one public event planned: a Wednesday night speech at the prestigious international affairs-focused Chatham House think tank. Walker’s office said the speech will focus on the importance of forging strong global partnerships and how those relationships can fuel business growth and help grow local economies.

Walker also plans private meetings with high-level government officials and business executives, along with factory tours.

Walker’s spokeswoman said earlier it was “a business trip, not a photo op.”


Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sbauerAP

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