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New Jersey's Chris Christie heading to London in February

Laying groundwork for potential White House bid, New Jersey Gov. Christie heading to London

New Jersey's Chris Christie heading to London in February

NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will travel to London early next month for a trade mission that will double as another opportunity to bolster his foreign policy credentials ahead of a potential run for president.

The three-day trip to Britain, beginning February 1, will be the popular Republican's third foreign trip in recent months and his first outside of North America during his second term.

The full schedule for Christie's London trip, including whether he will meet with Prime Minister David Cameron, is still being finalized, but he will not meet with the Queen or Prince Harry, who traveled to New Jersey and toured two shore communities devastated by Superstorm Sandy in 2013.

"This is an opportunity to strengthen economic and cultural ties between the United Kingdom and New Jersey while pursuing real opportunities in the life sciences and finance sectors," Christie's communications chief Maria Comella said in a statement.

Comella said the trip will have a heavy industry component, focusing on the connections between New Jersey and the United Kingdom, especially in the areas of finance and life sciences. The trip will likely include a series of meetings with London-based CEOs, as well as a potential visit to Cambridge, home of the world-famous university. There will also be a cultural aspect, with Christie potentially catching a soccer match.

Like other recent Christie travel, the trip is being sponsored by Choose New Jersey, a state economic development group.

A governor with little foreign policy experience, Christie has spent recent months studying foreign affairs in late-night prep sessions. He also traveled to Mexico in September and Canada in December, where he stressed the benefits of deepening ties with America's North American neighbors.

Christie is among the many potential 2016 contenders spending time overseas at this nascent stage of the presidential campaign. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal spent last week on a 10-day economic development mission to Germany, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Democrat Hillary Clinton, the early Democratic frontrunner if she decides to run, is heading to Canada this week.

Updated : 2021-09-23 05:10 GMT+08:00