Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus announced today that Missoula-based Planetary Design is heading to Korea to make the most out of connections made at a recent global trade summit Baucus brought to Montana. Planetary Design was one of the 100 featured Montana companies at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade meetings held at Big Sky last May. The company is also working to take advantage of the new Korea free trade agreement Baucus championed last year by attending the Coffee Expo Seoul 2012.
"More trade means more Montana jobs. Montana ranchers, farmers and our businesses like Planetary Design make the best products in the world and should have every opportunity to succeed in the global marketplace. APEC helped Montana entrepreneurs meet with business and trade contacts from some of the world's most important economies. Scott and the folks at Planetary Design clearly caught the attention and interest of folks in Korea, and I'm so proud they're making great progress," said Baucus.
"It was once said to me, 'What's the difference in expanding to Italy instead of New Jersey, it's just another state, and another market for your products.' Senator Baucus gets that too. He understands that we're in a global economy, and Montana needs to get in the game. I really appreciate what Max has done for Montana in this regard. He continues to open up doors, and it's then up to us as business leaders to take advantage of those openings. There is no reason why Planetary Design cannot be a global brand while based in Missoula, MT," said Scott Billadeau, founder and CEO of Planetary Design.
As Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has sole jurisdiction over international trade, Baucus was instrumental in bringing the trade summit to Montana while securing unprecedented involvement from local businesses including more than 100 Montana companies. Baucus also highlighted ways the company is working to create jobs here at home by taking advantage of the new free trade agreement with Korea
"While I've worked hard to make sure Montana beef gets fair market access in Korea, there are so many opportunities for all Montana business sectors in Korea's dynamic economy. I hope this great news for Planetary Design will inspire even more Montana manufacturers to look at ways to gain a competitive edge through exports," Baucus said.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Small-and-Medium-Sized Enterprises Trade Ministers' meetings brought cabinet-level representatives from 21 economies, along with hundreds of other officials, to Big Sky, Montana to discuss ways to deepen the trade and economic relationships among some of Montana's most important trading partners. Baucus worked with Montana mayors, tribal leaders, and local chambers of commerce across the state to help connect employers with the trade summit and voice their ideas about how to make the meetings a success for Montana jobs.