SC sending 16 people to air show; Haley not going

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — State Commerce officials will be in Paris next week without Gov. Nikki Haley to tout South Carolina’s growing aerospace industry.

It marks the first time the Republican governor has not attended an international air show since she took office.

Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt has previously said Haley’s attendance is essential to selling South Carolina because company CEOs want to meet with the state’s CEO.

But Hitt said Thursday the roughly 80 meetings lined up for the Paris Air Show continue discussions with companies where a relationship already exists.

South Carolina’s 16-person delegation includes nine Commerce employees. Five of those are coming from the state’s European office in Germany. Others include officials of local economic development groups.

South Carolina is among states with an exhibit booth at the show’s pavilion.

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