The folks at the Mackinac Center, who are certainly no fans of so-called "trade missions" by politicians, have pointed out the spurious motives behind these trips by engaging in snarky comparisons of past press releases issued by both the Granholm and Snyder administrations.
The center's Michael LaFaive did some homework and came up with solid examples of the happy talk that is standard procedure for each of these junkets.
"Here are some examples from the current and previous administrations. Judge for yourself:
"April 8, 2013: Calley leads delegation to strengthen Michigan
"June 14, 2013: Snyder leads delegation to enhance Michigan’s business ties with Israel. This one reminds readers of previous missions to Asia, Europe and Canada, and has the exact same words coming from Gov. Snyder's lips as the previous example with Lt. Gov. Calley saying: 'We will be delivering the message that Michigan is more business-friendly than ever and the best state in the North American market in which to compete and grow.'
"If the press releases are cut and paste jobs, so are the trips themselves. Politician X visits foreign country Y, politician X claims new investment promises that will generate jobs and a brighter future, politician X puffs and postures. Rinse and repeat.
"And as mentioned, it's all bipartisan — here are some examples from the previous Democratic administration:
"April 16, 2008: Granholm Traveling to Israel, Kuwait to Bring New Investment, Jobs Back to Michigan. This one boasted of how many foreigners had decided to invest in Michigan thanks to earlier visits by Gov. Granholm to Germany, Sweden, Austria and Japan. 'This mission will allow us to
"November 23, 2009: Lt. Governor Cherry Concludes Overseas Investment Mission. Readers are told the mission secured promises from Israeli firms 'to start water technology pilot projects' that would be 'another step toward establishing Michigan as the North American leader in water technology.' (The two pilot projects referenced in this press release have yet to materialize.)"