Tour de France: Nutters in Paris on trade mission

While on a previously unannouced trade mission
While on a previously unannouced trade mission (to Paris, Mayor Nutter posted a photo on Twitter stating, "Great conversation with Mayor @Anne_Hidal-go, discussing climate change, bike share, student exchanges and jobs." Nutter and his wife, Lisa, plan to spend six days in France.)
Posted: July 26, 2014

Well, at least he wrote.

With no public notice, Mayor Nutter flew to Paris on Wednesday on another global trade mission, this time a six-day excursion to woo French commerce and promote Philadelphia as a cycling mecca and tourist destination. Nutter and his wife, Lisa, will also attend the Tour de France, which ends Sunday in Paris.

While Nutter and his delegation left unannounced, his arrival in the City of Light was noted Thursday by a staff news release that outlined his itinerary and stated goals for the trip.

The administration said the mayor would meet with his Paris counterpart, professional cycling executives, and chief executives of "a range of French businesses," including Saint-Gobain, the maker of building materials that has its North American headquarters in Valley Forge.

By Thursday afternoon, Nutter was tweeting back a photo of his chat with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo in her office overlooking the Seine.

Nutter has taken official trips to London, Tel Aviv, and Tianjin, China, and his staff said the Paris voyage "builds on the goals and successes" of those sojourns, which promoted the city as "a world-class destination for tourism and an excellent location for businesses to consider."

The Nutters also plan to inspect the Paris bicycle-sharing system, Vélib, the third-largest in the world. Philadelphia is set to implement its own bike-sharing program after City Council gave approval this spring.

Nutter also plans to travel to Lyon to meet with French and American company executives, as well as representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

The city will cover the cost of the mayor's flight, but not his lodging or meals. The city is not paying any travel costs for Lisa Nutter.

Nutter's decision to fly off unannounced was in contrast with his past trips abroad, which were publicized by his staff in advance, but also drew criticism from some who questioned their value.

Asked if there might be a correlation between the past criticism and the mayor's manner of leaving Wednesday, Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald dismissed the idea.

"I would not credit that with any validation," he said.  

C'est la vie.


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