News Releases

(Washington D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement on how the Air Force's decision to award Airbus and its parent company EADS with the $40 billion contract to build aerial refueling tankers threatens U.S. economic, military, and trade security. 

THE ECONOMIC IMPACT:

The Air Force decision comes while the U.S. economy is sliding into recession and families are struggling with a failing housing market, a credit crisis, and rising unemployment.  

"At a time when our economy is hurting, the decision to outsource our tankers is a blow to the American aerospace industry, American workers and America’s military," said Senator Murray. "This contract is a $40 billion subsidy to Europe to invest in Airbus and its foreign workforce. We need to be investing in the American aerospace industry and the high-wage, high-skill jobs it supports. The Airbus contract is a European Stimulus Plan subsidized by the American taxpayer."

Important Economic Impact Statistics

  • The Boeing 767 would support more than 44,000 American jobs – including 300 suppliers – in 40 states.   It truly is a national plane.
  • About 9,000 of those jobs would have come to Washington state, for an annual economic impact of $400 million. 
  • These are high-wage, high-skill jobs - exactly the type of jobs we need to ensure stay in America.

THE SECURITY IMPACT:

Boeing has been building the Air Force's aerial refueling tankers for 50 years. American made Boeing planes have served the American military well, protecting our men and women during some very dangerous missions. Now the Air Force has decided to outsource the design and production of this critical warfighting tool to a foreign-owned company with a checkered history. 

"This contract puts our warfighting ability in the hands of a foreign government," said Senator Murray. "We're handing countries like France and Russia control of our most important military asset – our tankers which support all of our men and women in uniform."

THE TRADE IMPACT:

On May 31st, 2005, the United States filed a case against the European Union for providing allegedly illegal subsidies to Airbus.

"DOD plans to give a contract to a company we know is being illegally subsidized by European governments," said Senator Murray.  "For years the EU has prevented a level playing field for American workers and our aerospace industry. Because of their illegal tactics the US government has a WTO case pending against Airbus. So one arm of this Administration is telling Airbus that what they are doing is illegal, while another arm is giving the same company 40 billion dollars.”