Perdue's trip to China worth it?

But some aren't so sure the trip is worth it.

"This is something that tangibly shows, yes, we're trying to bring jobs to North Carolina. But ultimately, it's a dog and pony show," offered Mitch Kokai with the John Locke Foundation.

But Perdue says North Carolina's economic recovery begins in China.

"China is an emerging nation. They've got so many people, North Carolina has to have a relationship with them," said Perdue.

The trade mission to China and Japan includes five cities over eight days with a budget of $50,000 billed to the taxpayer. The governor insists the cost is worth it.

"It sounds like a lot of money. I know it's a lot of money. The only way to build an international trade alliance is through personal contacts," Perdue explained.

But critics like Kokai call the trip, and others like it, a waste. Kokai's conservative John Locke Foundation group argues a more effective policy would be advocating for a more business-friendly tax and regulation policy for all business, not just ones in a particular country.

"Thats not the way real economic growth happens. Real growth happens when you set out a playing field to entice all the people that really create jobs," said Kokai.

The price tag for the trip includes travel costs for the governor and three other state officials including the commerce secretary.

The governor's husband and group of 20 to 30 local business leaders are being asked to pay their own way.

The governor's office says, over the last decade, foreign dollars have translated into 15 percent of all the investment in North Carolina.

That's $9 billion and 40,000 jobs.

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