Governor Tim Pawlenty will be back in Minnesota this weekend after a 10-day trade mission to China and Japan.
Pawlenty has been leading a delegation of more than 40 business and government officials. Speaking this morning via telephone from Tokyo, Pawlenty said a good way for the U.S. to dig out of its economic troubles would be to increase exports.
During a Friday conference call from Tokyo with Minnesota reporters, Pawlenty provided an audio postcard of what is likely his last overseas trip as governor.
In Pawlenty's words, fast-growing countries like China "don't need our money, they want our technology. They want our innovation."
He said while Minnesota's large companies are used to doing business in places like Japan and China, smaller companies need help getting into foreign markets.
"These trade missions are designed to give them an efficient, organized user-friendly opportunity to learn more about these countries, the barriers and opportunities for trade and exports into these countries," Pawlenty said.
Pawlenty led a similar delegation of business and government representatives to China in 2005.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)