Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is embarking on an eight-day trade mission to Japan and China later this week.
Until now, Rauner has spent more time criticizing the Illinois business climate than promoting it. Rauner says he wasn’t traveling to aggressively promote Illinois because he thought it was inappropriate.
There was no budget for two years, and Democrats were blocking his anti-union agenda. Even though Rauner didn’t get that passed, he’s now going to personally recruit companies abroad anyway.
“Now we have a budget, it’s not balanced,” Rauner said. “We didn’t get reforms. But I can’t afford to wait any longer. We have got to bring businesses here.
Rauner has been highly critical of the state’s regulations on businesses, on how much companies pay in taxes, and on union work rules. None of those changes Rauner wanted have become law.
Rauner -- who made a fortune in private equity -- says he’s picking Japan and China because he already has “strong personal relationships with leaders in those countries.”
Rauner has done some recruiting domestically, and now he’s going to Japan and China. Rauner likes to talk up Chicago’s value as a transportation hub and the area’s universities.