Gov. DeSantis announces international trade mission trip with visits to Japan, South Korea, Israel, and U.K.

April 21, 2023
Ben Marquis

Amid the speculation about a potential 2024 presidential bid by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), one of the more consistent knocks against him has been the claim from detractors that he lacks sufficient foreign policy experience to lead the entire nation on the global stage.

Now, in a move that may substantially undermine that particular critique, DeSantis has announced plans to soon leave the U.S. on an international trip that will include visits with four of America's top allies in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, Breitbart reported.

Those four nations are Japan, South Korea, Israel, and the United Kingdom, and the purpose of those visits will be to bolster and expand bilateral trade and tourism between those countries and the Sunshine State.

International trip planned

The Associated Press reported that Gov. DeSantis announced the international trade mission on Thursday and aptly noted that the trip could give "the expected Republican presidential candidate a platform to bolster his foreign policy credentials."

The governor will be joined on the foreign excursion by his wife, first lady Casey DeSantis, as well as Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd and Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella.

It is unclear when, exactly, DeSantis will depart for and return from the international trip, but it will likely be within the next few days as the only firmly set date divulged thus far is April 27, when he will deliver the keynote address at an event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Israel's creation as an independent nation, with that country being the third stop on the four-nation swing.

Bolstering Florida's status as "an economic leader"

The Florida governor's office issued a news release on Thursday to announce the imminent international trade mission that is intended to strengthen and expand the state's already existing economic relationships with the four foreign allies.

The trip was planned in conjunction with an organization known as Enterprise Florida, a public-private partnership of government and business leaders focused on economic development in the Sunshine State that is expected to pay for the trip with private funding.

In a statement, Gov. DeSantis said, "Florida has the 15th largest economy in the world, and that is because our state has worked to create partnerships with other countries to create jobs and boost the economy."

"This trade mission will give us the opportunity to strengthen economic relationships and continue to demonstrate Florida’s position as an economic leader," he added.

The campaign could be launched shortly after foreign trip

Gov. DeSantis has not yet formally announced that he is a candidate for president in 2024 but is widely anticipated to officially launch a campaign after the Florida state legislature concludes its current session in early May, according to the AP.

Nevertheless, despite not being a declared candidate, Breitbart noted that DeSantis has been traveling across the country to speak at events in an assortment of different states, including traditionally early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

He has also polled consistently in second place behind the clear GOP frontrunner, former President Donald Trump, albeit with a sizeable and growing distance between the two.

It will be interesting to watch how this international trip goes for DeSantis, particularly about how well he is received by the foreign government and business leaders at each stop but also how the U.S. and foreign media outlets cover the visits.

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