The Washington Times - September 23, 2011, 02:40PM

Gov. Bob McDonnell’s excursion to Asia earlier this year is continuing to bear fruit — or in this case, soybean and grain exchanges — his office announced Friday.

The governor’s office announced two letters of intent from Taiwanese importers to purchase Virginia soybean and corn in 2012 and 2013. The Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association plans to purchase up to 110 million bushels of U.S. soybeans, to include those grown in Virginia, in the next two years, and the Taiwan Feed Industry Association plans to buy up to 413 million bushels of U.S. corn, to include corn from the commonwealth.


The combined value of the newly announced deals could total up to $5 billion.

The announcement is the fourth agricultural trade deal secured since the Governor traveled to Japan, China and South Korea and May.

In June, Mr. McDonnell announced that Virginia-based Smithfield Foods and China’s Dandong Port Group had signed a memorandum of understanding to explore commercial opportunities in northern China, and earlier this month, the governor announced that Perdue Agribusiness, which owns and operates a major deep-water export terminal in Chesapeake, Va., had reached agreements to begin exporting soybeans to the Dandong Port Group. He also announced in August a wine export deal between Barboursville Vineyards and China’s Tianjin Tewoo Group.

In other economic development news, the governor on Friday will attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for defense giant Northrop Grumman’s new corporate headquarters location in Falls Church.

The Fortune 100 company’s announcement that it was relocating its California headquarters from Los Angeles to the D.C. area in January 2010 sparked a multi-million dollar bidding war between Maryland, the District, and the commonwealth to lure the company to their respective jurisdictions. Virginia shelled out an incentive package worth between $12 million to $15 million to Northrop to sweeten the deal.

In July 2010, the company announced it had settled on Falls Church as its now home; neighboring Arlington County had also been in the running.

The company already employs about 20,000 workers in the area, and the move is also expected to bring with it about 300 high-paying jobs. The governor’s office expects Northrop to generate about $30 million in net tax revenue for the state over the next decade.