TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced he will travel to Japan, South Korea, Israel, and the United Kingdom as part of an international trade mission, giving the expected Republican presidential candidate a platform to bolster his foreign policy credentials.
DeSantis formally detailed the trip in a statement Thursday, saying, “This trade mission will give us the opportunity to strengthen economic relationships and continue to demonstrate Florida’s position as an economic leader.”
The trip comes as DeSantis is nearing the anticipated launch of his presidential campaign and has been aggressively touring battleground states in the U.S. for speeches and meetings with Republican officials. The governor is widely seen as the most formidable challenger to former President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.
The visits will have DeSantis convening with business and government leaders such as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, and British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, according to a news release. DeSantis is also set to deliver a keynote address on April 27 at an event marking the 75th anniversary of Israel’s independence.
The governor will be accompanied by his wife, first lady Casey DeSantis, Secretary of State Cord Byrd, and Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella.
DeSantis is expected to announce his candidacy for president after the state legislative session ends in early May.