Corbett heading to Europe on five-day trade mission

    In the hopes of sealing some trade deals between European businesses and Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett is off to Europe Saturday.

    On the itinerary are five days of meetings with Pennsylvania companies with operations in France and Germany, events to talk up Pennsylvania to potential investors, and tours of facilities.

    The trip is financed by Team Pennsylvania Foundation, a nonprofit group.

    “We’re not going over there and doing cold calls. There’s a very intricate network that the commonwealth has of overseas trade offices that we will be coordinating our efforts with,” said Ryan Unger, director of policy and programs with Team Pennsylvania Foundation.

    Travel costs run about $5,000 per person in the group of 14 that includes the governor’s wife, Susan Corbett.

    Chuck Ardo, who was spokesman for former Gov. Ed Rendell, said getting the private sector to fund such trips can give rise to concerns of influence-buying.

    Rendell went on one trade mission during his term, a taxpayer-funded trip to Spain, to talk to a manufacturer of windmills.

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