Tuesday, April 2, 2013

EXTRA: Gov. Quinn's Mexico venture

Roughly one of every six Chicago residents is of Mexican ethnic origin.

QUINN: Busy for the week
So perhaps it shouldn’t be the least bit surprising that Gov. Pat Quinn will leave Wednesday for a four-day journey to Mexico. It will be the fifth trade mission – the others were to Brazil and Canada, along with China and Japan – taken by the Mighty Quinn since the day he succeeded the now-impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

IF ANYTHING, IT might be worth saying, “It’s about time,” since an Illinois governor hasn’t gone to Mexico since 2000 – although I remember both George Ryan and Jim Edgar before him making the trip.

Admittedly, this will be a ritual whose purpose is to give Illinois-based companies a chance to make more contacts so that they can do more business with Mexican-based business interests.

If it works properly, it can bolster our local economy. Such as when Quinn meets with officials of Bimbo bakeries, whose U.S. subsidiary, Grupo Bimbo USA owns such product brands found often in our supermarkets such as Entenmann’s donuts and cakes and may well wind up buying a portion of the Hostess product names (even if they didn’t get the “Twinkie” brand).

Illinois exports to Mexico totaled $6.4 million in 2012 – making it the second-largest largest trading partner for our home state.

IF IT DOESN’T, then Quinn will get to say he escaped the 30-degree-type temperatures we’re going to face this week. Since the weather is expected to warm up to more spring-like temperatures by Saturday (the day he’s scheduled to return).

Of course, Quinn will try to make his trip seem like more of a cultural event. Hence, there will be the rituals paying tribute to one-time Mexico President Benito Juarez, along with his political contemporary Abraham Lincoln.

Both men are amongst the most honored leaders of their respective countries – even if height-wise, they were about as far apart as one could envision.

MONARCHS: Regular visitors to Mexico
Reading through the material released by Quinn’s staff, I also couldn’t help but notice an event meant to promote Monarch butterflies, which migrate between the Midwestern U.S. and Michoacãn in Mexico.

THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY is, of course, the official insect of Illinois. Although I’m now wondering if we’ll get some nitwit ideologues who will call for the butterfly’s deportation and removal from such an honor because of its Mexican ties.

But as already stated, the purpose of this trip is meant to be to promote joint business efforts – which is why a lot of CEOs will be accompanying the governor.

Although in looking over the list of corporations making the trip, I couldn’t help but be amused by the inclusion of Geno’s East on the list.

Maybe it is in everybody’s interests to promote the idea of a decent pan pizza in Mexico. I’m just wondering how much of an outburst will we hear from officials with Lou Malnati’s – ranting and raging that they were dissed even though they offer up a superior pizza pie!


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