Minneapolis, MN – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is visiting businesses across Minnesota to discuss economic development and job growth in local areas. Klobuchar will be in Cloquet, Eveleth, Grand Rapids, St. Cloud and Winona to highlight the key role innovative businesses play in lifting up local economies.

“I‘ve seen first-hand how local businesses are driving economic development and lifting up Minnesota’s economy,” Klobuchar said.“From increasing tourism to reducing red tape to boosting exports, I will continue to work to ensure that our innovative businesses have the tools they need to grow and thrive.”

Today Klobuchar will be visiting the Sappi Paper Mill in Cloquet for the groundbreaking for a $170 million pulp mill conversion project that will support an estimated 400 jobs over the life of the project. Klobuchar has worked closely with Minnesota’s paper companies on key issues affecting the industry.  In 2010 Klobuchar successfully worked to address unfair trade practices by foreign paper producers in China and other countries that were hurting paper mills in Minnesota.

Klobuchar is also visiting the Mesabi Trail in Eveleth to discuss boosting tourism and economic development in northern Minnesota, and will be touring Magnetation in Grand Rapids, a new operation for reclaiming old mining tailings basins and mine dumps for Iron Ore Concentrate.

Klobuchar will be visiting St. Cloud tomorrow and Winona on Sunday.  

Klobuchar chairs the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion and has been a leader in the effort to boost innovation and exports in Minnesota and across the country. Klobuchar authored the bipartisan Export Promotion Act to provide small- and medium-sized businesses with the tools they need to tap into markets overseas. The bill was incorporated into the Small Business Jobs Act that was passed into law. She has also introduced the bipartisan Innovate America Act to promote innovation and increase America’s ability to compete in the global economy.

Klobuchar chairs the bipartisan Senate Tourism Caucus and has long supported efforts to increase tourism to the United States as a way to drive economic growth. Klobuchar recently introduced the bipartisan Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act with Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), which would allow travelers to expedite the processing of business and tourist visas, speed up the time it takes to receive a visa interview, encourage the State Department to allow multiple-entry visas for qualified Chinese tourists, and allow longer visits to the United States for some Canadian tourists. Klobuchar has also introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Blunt that would allow the State Department the flexibility to streamline and expand their visa processing services without compromising national security.