French, American Leaders Convene in U.S. Capitol
See more photos of this meeting on Flickr.
French and American leaders from government and business met in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, using a session of the Congressional French Caucus to appraise bilateral progress across multiple sectors, with a special focus on the countries’ mutual economic interests.
After his opening remarks on France’s current military intervention in Mali, François Delattre, Ambassador of France to the United States, cited the numerous partnerships now animating French-American ties. In investment, education, research and cultural activities, the relationship is "a real success story," he said.
The Ambassador was joined by Corinne Narassiguin, elected in June 2012 to represent French citizens living in Canada and the United States. Ms. Narassiguin serves as a member of France’s National Assembly, the country’s lower parliamentary chamber. Though now a resident of Paris, she lived in New York City for nearly 14 years, an experience she considers a "strong asset" as she begins her term.
The event, the French Caucus’s first in 2013, garnered a strong showing from members and stakeholders. All six of its Co-Chairs attended, namely Representatives Bob Latta (OH), Mike Michaud (ME), John Campbell (CA), and Adam Schiff (CA), and Senators Mary Landrieu (LA) and John Boozman (AR). Other members present included Reps. Joe Wilson (SC), Tom Petri (WI), William Keating (MA), and Charlie Dent (PA), as well as former Representative and founding French Caucus Co-Chair, James Oberstar (MN).
- Ambassador François Delattre and Senators Mary Landrieu (LA) and John Boozman (AR)
The current membership of the Congressional French Caucus includes 91 U.S. Senators and Representatives.
Representatives of French businesses who attended the meeting included Allan McArtor, Chairman of aviation firm Airbus Americas; Mark Orr, Vice President of Public Affairs at the Pernod Ricard wine and spirits company; Ed Greissing, Vice President of Corporate Affairs for the U.S. operations of the Sanofi healthcare firm; and Steve Evered, Vice President of Government Affairs for the tire manufacturer, Michelin North America.
Founded in 2003, the Congressional French Caucus is a bicameral, bipartisan Congressional Member organization, dedicated to promoting partnership and cooperation, enhancing French-U.S. relations in all fields and facilitating a better understanding of the relationship between the two nations. The organization provides opportunities for caucus Members and staff to meet with visiting French delegations, as well as opportunities to travel to France to meet with French officials.
In a concluding word, Amb. Delattre offered the symbolic idea that the French-American relationship "walks on two legs: history and shared values on one side, and innovation and cross-investment on the other."
Photos of the event are available here.