Letters from the West

French Consul meets with Idaho aerospace companies ahead of Paris Air Show trade visit

French Consul General Emmanuel LeBrun-Damiens, right, talks with French nationals living in Boise at The District coffee shop Monday.
French Consul General Emmanuel LeBrun-Damiens, right, talks with French nationals living in Boise at The District coffee shop Monday.

France's long relationship with the United States going back to the American Revolution provides a foundation that carries through changes in political leadership said French Consul General Emmanuel LeBrun-Damiens in Boise Monday.

LeBrun-Damiens, who works in 10 western states out of San Francisco, met with Idaho leaders, aerospace company officials and representatives of French companies in Idaho during a visit to Boise.

“France and the U.S. have been very close partners for centuries,” LeBrun-Damiens said. “Now as friends we are so close and our interests are so intertwined so that many things don’t change.”

But both sides speak out on what is important to them, he said. In 2015 France hosted a major world conference that culminated in the Paris Agreement on climate change that called on nations to reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to the warming plant. President Trump said he opposed the agreement during the campaign.

“We said that we see climate change as a major threat for humanity,” LeBrun-Damiens said.

As consul, LeBrun-Damiens works with French businesses like Lactalis, a cheese manufacturer and Materne, which makes the popular GoGo Squeez fruit and yogurt pouches, which have plants in Nampa. He also works with American companies like Idaho aerospace companies planning to go on a trade mission in June to France where they will go to the famous Paris Air Show.

Lactis employes 700 workers in Nampa and Materne 190, proof, LeBrun-Damiens said, of the power of foreign investment in the U.S. and Idaho economies.

American investment is also important in France with a half-million French workers employed in 4,800 U.S. companies there.

He also is involved in spreading and exchanging French culture, science and technology and he met with local French nationals and small businesses as well.

Rocky Barker: 208-377-6484, @RockyBarker

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