“It is always a pleasure for me to return to Saudi Arabia with Minnesota companies to continue to build the bonds of friendship and business that benefit both the Kingdom and our state,” Ellison was quoted as saying.
Ellison has led similar trips to the Middle East in recent years, and this time he's accompanied by representatives from 10 companies from a variety of industries including water treatment, health care, food and dairy, luxury housewares, defense, and heating and air conditioning. According to the Arab News reports, the companies will meet one-on-one with potential Saudi partners. The Kingdom has long been a traditional customer of US defense firms, including Minnesota-based ATK, and in recent years its government has tried to diversify its economy beyond the petroleum industry.
According to a second Arab News report, Ellison announced that some of his travel partners had decided to open manufacturing bases in the kingdom. Ellison also called on Saudi businesses to visit Minnesota.
Ellison Introduces Bill To Ban Herbicide
Last week, Ellison also introduced a bill to ban the popular herbicide atrazine. The chemical has been blamed for birth defects in humans and health problems in some frogs. Atrazine is widely used in gardens and in corn farms, and may be hard to replace.
"No one should ever have to worry if the water they drink is making them sick or affecting fertility," Ellison told Ag News. "Germany and Italy banned atrazine use in 1991 and Euro zone health officials banned its use in 2003. Yet, almost 10 years later the United States is still using it."
Chris Fields Issues Video
Chris Fields, a leading Republican candidate against Ellison, released a YouTube video (posted at right) last week promoting his candidacy. Echoing many of the points he made in , Fields emphasized his past as a Marine and the child of a poor single mother. Fields added he did not want to run a divisive campaign.
"I've watched for years as the American people have lost their confidence in Washington. It doesn't have to be that way," Fields said. "We must reject the 'us versus them' argument."