Consul Stanger visited Clermont-Ferrand, principally to participate in a round table on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) held in front of 100 participants at the Auvergne Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI). Consul Stanger shared the podium with CCI President Isidore Fartaria, Jean-Marc Mignon—chief of international affairs for DIRECTTE Auvergne—and several owners of small businesses that export to the U.S. The two hour event concluded with a question and answer session, where the Consul cleared up public misconceptions about the perceived secrecy of negotiations. Consul Stanger was then hosted as the guest of honor at the CCI’s “New Year’s Welcoming” and awarded the medal of the CCI Puy de Dôme. The highlight of the visit was the last stop, a visit to “Collège de la Charme” middle school to congratulate the 25 pupils who spent one week in Washington, D.C and Lexington, South Carolina, where they met their pen pals. This academic exchange was designed to celebrate the longstanding friendship between France and the USA that was embodied by the relationship between George Washington and the Marquis de La Fayette.