Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The Commerce Department says South Carolina taxpayers spent about $54,000 on an international trade meeting in Japan.
The department said Thursday that's the initial estimate of tax dollars spent on the five-day economic development trip to Tokyo. Most of that went toward travel, hotel rooms and fees for the 35th annual conference of the Japan-U.S. Southeast Association.
Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt says the trip was vital to building the relationships needed to bring jobs to South Carolina. He says state officials participated in 23 meetings. He declined to name specific companies.
About 40 people made the trip from South Carolina, including Gov. Nikki Haley, her husband, an aide and her security. Four Commerce employees flew over, joining three part-time consultants there.
Haley was among five Southeastern governors at the conference.
(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)