S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley said Wednesday that a $127,000 economic development trip to Paris and Munich planted seeds for job creation as she defended what critics said was a taxpayer-funded junket and vacation.
“I am hopeful that several good deals will come from this trip, any one of which would mean millions of dollars to our state, and hundreds and potentially thousands of jobs,” Haley wrote in an opinion published Wednesday in The Post and Courier of Charleston.
The newspaper was first to report details of a June trip to the Paris Air Show that included renting a chalet for events and expensive hotel rooms. Haley’s office had little response to questions about spending initially.
Haley had told reporters last week that the trip brought two closed deals.
State Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said the deals were still in the works and provided no further details. In July, Haley told The Associated Press the Paris trip sealed yet-to-be-announced deals to bring three employers to the state and expand two others.