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Rick Scott says Paris air show yielded $151 million in sales for Florida companies

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Gov. Rick Scott took some flak for visiting France during a special session in Tallahassee where lawmakers narrowly avoided a constitutional crisis by passing an 11th-hour budget, but according to a release Friday the trip was not in vain: Florida aerospace and aviation industries collected some $150 million in sales during the 2015 Paris Air Show.

“I am thrilled to announce the 17 Florida companies that attended the business development mission have reported $151 million in total projected export sales from the Paris Air Show,” said Scott in a statement.

The governor — who has made trade missions both foreign and domestic his trademark since taking office in 2011 — said the nine-figure coup was in keeping with a trend.

“Florida is the number one place to do business, and the aerospace and the aviation industry is a key component to our state’s success,” Scott said Friday. “Overall, Florida businesses have created nearly 900,000 private-sector jobs in just four and a half years, and we will continue to work hard to grow businesses and create opportunities for our families.”

His office released a list of Florida-based companies that secured sales or made strides due to the aviation expo last month, which reads thusly:

Embraer will expand operations in Brevard County, creating 150 jobs and investing $3.5 million in a new manufacturing facility. 

Lockheed Martin will expand its Cape Canaveral facility to create 130 jobs. The new positions will support the U.S. Navy’s Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile program.

GA Telesis, one of the world’s largest commercial aerospace firms, is relocating one of its distribution centers to Miami. The relocation will result in more than 55 new Florida jobs. 

Aerospace Precision, an FAA/EASA repair facility is relocating one of its California facilities to Hollywood, Fla., creating up to 25 jobs in the Sunshine State.

Bill Johnson, CEO of Enterprise Florida, the state’s public-private economic development agency, concurred with the governor that the trip to France in the summertime was well worth the opportunity cost.

“It’s no surprise that the Paris Air Show yielded exceptional results because Governor Scott has worked to create a pro-business climate in Florida and we have the best international trade and development team in the business,” said Johnson in prepared remarks.

“Florida is ranked #1 in the U.S. for aviation manufacturing attractiveness for the second year in a row,” he added. “Opportunities like the Paris Air Show allow EFI to help companies expand and diversify through international trade. I congratulate these companies on their success at the trade show.”

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.

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