Speaking Tuesday morning over the din at the Farnborough International Airshow, Gov. Nikki Haley said she has been selling South Carolina as a business destination and that, while no deals have been closed, her low-cost, anti-union message is resonating.
The governor, who arrived in London on Sunday, has had 15 to 17 meetings with Boeing suppliers and other aerospace companies, and the S.C. Department of Commerce has participated in three times that many.
“South Carolina continues to be the buzz because of Boeing and that’s a good thing,” she said.
Haley justified the cost of the 30-member S.C. delegation’s trip to England, which is projected to be more than $100,000 but less than last year’s mission to the air show in Paris, by saying it provides the rare opportunity to meet with many companies in one place and that the competition is fierce. She said there are twice as many U.S. governors at Farnborough than traveled to Paris last June.
“Nine of the governors chose to show up, and we’re all fighting for the same thing,” Haley said.
Haley said she plans to meet with GKN Aerospace, which announced in November that it would build a new plant in Orangeburg County this year, tonight and then fly back home early Wednesday morning.
The governor described the brief trip as “the starting point” from which to build South Carolina’s budding aerospace industry.
“We expect a lot of follow-up meetings,” she said.
Read more in tomorrow’s editions of The Post and Courier.