The Midwest China Hub Commission (MCHC) and the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL) will work together on the next steps to make Lambert-St. Louis International Airport a center for Chinese airfreight connections.
On Dec. 1, while in Shanghai, China during a trade mission trip, the two groups signed a memorandum of understanding to work together.
"Bilateral trade between Missouri and China is on the rise as exports comprise a key component of improving our economy,” said Dan Mehan, President and CEO, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Chairman, Midwest-China Hub Commission in a statement. “This trade mission led by KBS and WTC has developed vital relationships and produced results that will benefit the region for years to come.”
The agreement means the China Hub Commission and the ASTL have committed to working together on establishing new airfreight routes between St. Louis and China; hosting and coordinating inbound and outbound transportation; organizing logistics and supply chain management delegation visits; and boosting trade between the United States and China.
The China Hub Commission is in China this week as part of the trade mission led by the World Trade Center St. Louis, former Sen. Kit Bond and Kit Bond Strategies, and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley.
The delegation includes representatives from more than a dozen businesses and two universities, and has met with Chinese leaders in Hangzhou and Shanghai and will continue the trade mission in Nanjing and Beijing.
The Midwest-China Hub Commission was formed in 2009 to develop cargo service routes to China and other international markets from Lambert Airport.
In September 2011, a weekly cargo flight from Shanghai to St. Louis began.
The following month, the Aerotropolis Trade Incentive and Tax Credit Act, containing incentives to support the China Hub initiative, fell apart in the Missouri legislature despite local chamber of commerces and and legislators expressing support.
It wasn't too ling afterwards, China Cargo Airlines began canceling scheduled air cargo flights to Lambert.
This new agreement is that latest step in an effort to re-establish a cargo hub at Lambert and breathe new life into the airport.