(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) introduced a bi-partisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would require the Pentagon to consider the unfair advantage provided by illegal subsidies in the competition to replace the Air Force’s aerial refueling tanker. View the amendment language visit HERE.
“This amendment is about creating and saving skilled manufacturing and engineering jobs here at home,” said Senator Murray. “It will require the Pentagon to finally consider the billion in illegal subsidies that Airbus has been using to undercut American aerospace companies and workers. It will also ensure an even playing field in the tanker competition. I want our workers to know that while they are working to secure our country by producing the best airplanes in the world their government is doing everything it can to ensure fair opportunities that will keep them on the job.”
“The Defense Department should do the right thing and account for illegal subsidies that distort competition,” said Senator Brownback “Up till now, the DoD has ignored the effects of illegal subsidies, even though it acknowledges that nothing in the law stops DoD from taking into consideration such subsidies. We must ensure a fair tanker competition in which no bidder is rewarded for accepting illegal government support. Fair competition starts when everyone plays by the same rules on a level playing field."
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) was also an original co-sponsor of the amendment:
“Our nation's warfighters and taxpayers deserve a level playing field when it comes to this vitally important national defense contract,” Senator Cantwell said. “This amendment will ensure the Pentagon takes into account any unfair competitive advantage a bidder may have obtained due to illegal launch aid subsidies it received in developing its proposed tanker air frame.”
A House version of the amendment introduced today sponsored by Congressmen Inslee (D-WA 1st) and Tiahrt (R-KA 4th) has passed the House.