BOISE -- The State of Idaho has long been a trade partner with foreign countries across the globe. Governor Otter has gone on record saying foreign trade helps boost the economy at home, but now trade with one country is being questioned by the Idaho Republican Party.
"We've had relationships with China for at least 14 years as a state,” said Don Dietrich, the Director of the Idaho Department of Commerce.
Dietrich says China has been a major staple when it comes to trading with the Gem State.
"We use our relationship that we've built with China to explore opportunities, both for investment and for raising capital,” said Dietrich.
Governor Butch Otter has made multiple trade mission trips to China, the most recent being June 2010.
However, that relationship between Idaho and China has recently been questioned by the Idaho Republican Party.
"My sense is that there are many citizens who are concerned about having a relationship with China and not knowing the parameters of the relationship feel a sense of suspicion about it,” said Central Committee Chairman, Barry Peterson.
On Saturday, the party's central committee passed a resolution urging Governor Otter to highlight any involvement with China in his economic development plans.
The resolution reads in part: "The stability of our form of government is being undermined by strategies used by the Chinese state-government-controlled entities through investments, corporate takeovers, intelligence operations and rare-Earth monopolization."
Dietrich believes the governor and the department of commerce has been transparent with their ties to China and believes the so called suspicion about the partnership was spread through an onslaught of misinformation on the internet. This includes a rumor that China was building a self-sustaining city south of Boise.
"Well unfortunately it took life in the blogosphere and unfortunately it was a situation where people didn't have the real facts,” explained Dietrich, “I think we have to deal with the facts -- and again we're trying to deliver the facts to our constituents and that's important."
Now that the resolution has passed the Central Committee it will be given to the Governor and the legislature to inform them of the committee's concern. It's not known at this time if there will be any further action by the legislature.