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(SEATTLE, WA) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray congratulated 100 Boeing Machinists on their success landing the 787 and warned that the United States government cannot allow European governments to subsidize the A350. Newspaper articles indicate that Airbus has asked for, and European governments are poised to provide, $1.7 billion in launch aid for the A350. Murray spoke at lodge meeting at Machinists Hall in Seattle. Murray said she is fighting Airbus on three fronts:

  • Working to end the subsidies that Airbus receives from European governments;
  • Fighting Airbus's attempts to portray itself as an American company and a creator of American jobs;
  • And exposing the many ways Airbus is no friend of the United States.

Murray told the Machinists that as they are working in Washington state to build the worlds' best airplanes, "Airbus is working overtime in places like Toulouse, Berlin and Washington, D.C. to stack the deck against you."

"What we cannot do – after all your sacrifices – is allow Airbus and the EU to build a new plane with more illegal subsidies," Murray said. "If we let Europe subsidize the A350, then all of your sacrifices will have been for nothing, and we will not let that happen."

Murray noted her success last month getting Congress to pass a resolution calling for an end to Airbus subsidies. (Details) Murray also noted that Airbus has taken out ads in Capitol Hill publications trying to portray itself as an American company. In turn, Murray has rebutted those ads on the Senate floor.

"I want everyone in Washington, D.C. to know that when Airbus comes to them with their hat in their hand looking for contracts from American taxpayers, Airbus cannot be trusted," Murray said. "Airbus does not create American jobs. It kills them."

Murray also criticized Airbus for trying to sell military weapons to Iran, an enemy of the United States. NBC Nightly News cameras caught Airbus at an air show in Kish, Iran.

"Airbus is a European company – first, last and always – and Airbus doesn't care about American workers or American security," Murray said. "Airbus may not have a problem trading with America's enemies, but we sure do, and we're not going to let them get away with it."

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Senator Murray's remarks follow:

I know that all of you are fighting everyday to build the world's best airplanes. You're fighting for your jobs, and you're fighting for keeping Washington strong. And the fight you're leading is really over whether America will lead the world in civil aviation for the next hundred years – as we have for the first 100 years. So I know how high the stakes are, and I'm very proud of the work you're doing.

Airbus is Trying to Stack the Deck Against American Workers

But I also know that the playing field is rigged. And I know that while you're working here, Airbus is working overtime in places like Toulouse, Berlin and Washington, D.C. to stack the deck against you.

Our country has lost 700,000 aerospace jobs in the past 15 years. Those layoffs are not just numbers. They're you're brothers and sisters – friends and neighbors. But Airbus still isn't satisfied. Today they are going after your jobs with a lot of energy and deep pockets.

In Washington, D.C., I see Airbus and EADS going to new lengths to break the rules, to subsidize their planes, to deceive Members of Congress, to weasel their way into American defense contracts, and ultimately, to finish off the American aerospace industry. And we have got to stop them.

Tonight I want to update you on what I'm doing in Washington, D.C. to fight Airbus's illegal and deceptive actions. With your help, I'm attacking Airbus on three fronts. First, we're fighting the subsidies because as I've said time and again the subsidies must stop. Second, I'm fighting Airbus's PR campaign. They're trying to convince U.S. lawmakers that Airbus creates American jobs, when Airbus actually destroys them. And they're trying to convince lawmakers that Airbus is an American company. We know Airbus tries to destroy American companies, so I'm pushing back. And third, I'm showing everyone that Airbus is no friend of the United States when it sells weapons to our enemies.

You Sacrificed for the 787

Let me say first that I know that all of you have made a lot of sacrifices to land the 787. Because of your sacrifices, you will build the plane that will redefine aviation. Already, the marketplace is rewarding you with new plane orders that are making Airbus play catch up. While Airbus was going for massive planes, you guys figured out what the customer wanted, and you guys won. You came up with a better product, and now the marketplace is rewarding you with new orders.

But I know it wasn't easy and that you gave up a lot to land the 787. When Boeing said it needed more flexibility to work with subcontractors and vendors, you made tremendous sacrifices. When management said it needed a more flexible relationship, you provided that flexibility. When Boeing said it needed productivity gains, you said "we'll do it!" None of those were easy – all of those agreements came at a heavy price to you and your members.

After Your Sacrifices, We Cannot Allow Europe to Subsidize the A350

What we cannot do – after all your sacrifices – is allow Airbus and the EU to build a new plane with more illegal subsidies. If we let Europe subsidize the A350, then all of your sacrifices will have been for nothing, and we will not let that happen. Some may ask why the Europeans must subsidize their new aircraft, but we know the answer. The Europeans understand that without the subsidies, without an unfair advantage, they would have a heck of a time competing head-to-head with American workers. They would lose! You are the best asset that we have in this fight. But I know that you can't effectively compete when you start billions of dollars behind. Those subsidies are unfair. They're illegal, and I'm fighting them. It's our job in Washington D.C. to level that playing field, to call a subsidy a subsidy, and to make Europe play by the rules. I'm here tonight to tell you that I'm committed to this effort. I'll continue to do my job in Washington D.C. so that you can continue doing yours back here. Let me update you on what I'm doing specifically to fight Airbus in Washington, D.C.

Fight #1: Stop the Subsidies

First, we've got to stop the subsidies. Airbus has been breaking the rules for years – and their illegal tricks have cost us jobs. We know they rely on a host of subsidies. Airbus cheats with launch aid. Airbus cheats with supplier subsidies. Airbus cheats with R&D subsidies. Airbus cheats with facility subsidies. The list goes on and on. I'm pushing back on all of them, but the most urgent one to kill right now is launch aid.

In July, I called on the U.S. to pull out of an outdated treaty that allowed subsidies. And I'm pleased that three months later -- our government did just that.

We have tried to negotiate with the Europeans. I've worked closely with Amb. Robert Zoellick, who was our U.S. Trade Representative until a few months ago.

I've also worked in the Senate to strengthen the hand of our negotiators. Last month, I helped pass a bipartisan resolution in the Senate. It calls on European governments to reject launch aid for Airbus, and it supports the President’s authority to take any action necessary to protect American aerospace jobs. Our resolution passed 96-0 – so Congress is on the record saying the subsidies must end. But from everything I've seen, the Europeans have never taken our negotiations seriously. Now I think it's time for the U.S. to take Europe to the World Trade Organization and file a trade case.

We have a new U.S. Trade Rep – Robert Portman, who was just confirmed last week. I supported his confirmation, and I look forward to building a strong relationship with him and making sure he understands what we're fighting for.

I will work with anyone to get the job done. I usually don't find myself working on the same side of an issue as the Bush Administration, but I've got to say that on this issue – the Bush Administration has been a strong ally. I've worked closely with their Commerce Department and USTR, and I will work with anyone – Democrat or Republican – to make sure we keep American aerospace jobs here in the U.S. We don’t have any time to waste.

We have to stop those subsidizes now, because Europe is posed to provide launch aid for the A350. Airbus has applied for -- and European governments are prepared to provide -- $1.7 billion in new launch aid to subsidize the A350. We can't let that happen, so I'm working with other Senators and with the U.S. government to hold Europe accountable and stop the subsidies. That's the first fight.

Fight #2: Show That Airbus Kills American Jobs

Second, I'm working to expose Airbus's false PR campaign. Airbus is lying about its impact on American jobs. It says it creates them, but we know it kills them. So I've had a strong dialogue with the Airbus, the Commerce Department, the Defense Department and others to expose Airbus's phony numbers. I've got whole section about it, and you can read the letters yourself on my website.

Just last month, the Commerce Department released an exhaustive study done at the request of this Congress – on the U.S. Jet Transport Industry. This 150-page report once again comes to the same conclusion we've heard time and again: Airbus is not an American company, and Airbus does almost nothing to support the hundreds of thousands of American workers who depend on this important industry.

Airbus is Not an American Company

I'm also working to stop Airbus from portraying itself as an American company. They've taken out ads in newspapers on Capitol Hill trying to wrap themselves up in the American flag. I've brought some of those deceptive ads down onto the Senate floor – blew them up on big charts – and explained to the rest of the Senate that they were lies – and part of PR campaign to deceive Members of Congress. So I'm working to expose Airbus's false and deceptive PR campaign. I want everyone in Washington, D.C. to know that when Airbus comes to them with their hat in their hand looking for contracts from American taxpayers, Airbus cannot be trusted. Airbus does not create American jobs – it kills them.

Fight #3: Show That Airbus is No Friend of America

The third part of my fight is to show everyone that Airbus is no friend of the United States. When it wants a contract, when it wants to sell planes here, Airbus acts like our best friend. But when Airbus thinks we're not looking, they do outrageous things.

Recently, NBC Nightly News went to an air show in Iran. Now we as a country have some big problems with Iran. Iran is trying to destabilize and undermine our interests in the Middle East. Iran is trying to obtain nuclear weapons, and Iran is not a friend of the United States. So NBC goes to this air show in Iran, and guess who's there – Airbus. And guess what they're doing – trying to sell their military helicopters to Iran. And when a reporter confronted the Airbus rep, here is what he said: "As a European company, we're not supposed to take into account embargoes from the U.S."

To me, that says it all. Airbus is a European company – first, last and always – and Airbus doesn't care about American workers or American security. Airbus may not have a problem trading with America's enemies, but we sure do, and we're not going to let them get away with it. I took that NBC News story down to the Senate Floor last month and read it to other Senators, so they'd know what Airbus was really up to.

My message to Airbus is clear: You can't call yourself a friend of America if you're selling weapons to our enemies.

Get Updates on My Website

So I'm working on all three fronts in Washington, D.C. to force Airbus to play by the rules. If you want to know more about my efforts, I've got a special section of my website dedicated to aerospace issues. You can watch my floor speeches, read my letters and charts, and get my e-mail updates. The address is https://www.murray.senate.gov/aerospace

I know this is a challenging time. I know that Boeing is going to name a new CEO. I've talked to Alan Mulally, Lou Platt, and others about it. And I know that Boeing's next CEO will be just as committed to this fight. None of us – not me, not you, not Boeing – are going to let Airbus subsidize the A350. We won't let it happen. So I'm proud of the fight you're leading here on the front lines of aviation, and I'm proud to be your partner, standing up for you in the United States Senate.