Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement after the European company Airbus announced that they would compete to replace the U.S. military’s fleet of aerial refueling tankers without an American partner. On March 23rd, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that Airbus has for years received illegal, trade-distorting subsidies that have hurt U.S. aerospace companies and undercut American workers. The ruling included a finding that the A-330, the very plane that Airbus plans to put forward in the tanker competition, has been built using illegal subsidies.
“Holding this competition up to allow an illegally-subsidized foreign company to bid is bad for American workers, our men and women in uniform, taxpayers, and our economy. It means we are bending over backwards to include a company that has broken the rules of fair play. A competition between companies on an equal playing field is one thing. A competition where American workers have to compete with the treasuries of European countries is another.
“For years, Airbus has gone to any length to gain U.S. market share and undercut American workers. Today’s announcement is a reminder that they will go it alone in that pursuit if necessary. Whether it’s extending deadlines, threatening to drop out if the rules aren’t changed in their favor, or receiving billions in illegal, trade-distorting subsidies, no ploy is spared. We cannot and should not be rewarding this behavior.
“I will continue to work with Republicans and Democrats alike to make clear to the Pentagon and the White House that this is the wrong move for our service members and our workers.”