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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray today was joined by Senator Maria Cantwell, local business leaders and Boeing workers in calling for an end to illegal
European subsidies to Airbus at a press conference at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.



As the 46th Annual Paris Air Show kicked off today with a focus on the A380 – which has received nearly $4 billion in subsidies from the EU – Murray highlighted the need to level the playing field for American aerospace workers and applauded forward movement on a trade case at the World Trade Organization.



“As the Paris Air Show kicks off today, we will see many impressive displays of aviation, technology and innovation --- the 787 Dreamliner and 777 Worldliner, just to name a few. But there is something else that will be on display at this year’s Air Show - the fruits of some thirty years of direct cash advances and illegal subsidies to Airbus,” Murray said.



“I called on the Administration to move ahead with a trade case. And they have done just that. This is the right thing to do to protect American jobs and our aerospace industry well into the future.”



Despite Airbus’ status as the current leading manufacturer of large civil aircraft with more than fifty percent of the market share, the company continues to receive market distorting subsidies and engage in unfair trade practices which are undermining the U.S. aerospace industry and American jobs.



Today at the Paris Air Show, Airbus CEO Noel Forgeard admitted that Airbus does not need launch aid, but will continue to accept it anyway.



'In any event, we have the money,' Forgeard said during a press conference at the Le Bourget Air Show, but 'that's not to say we would spit on any support.' [Forbes.com, 6/13/05]



Airbus has received at least $15 billion in direct cash advances from European governments to develop its family of aircraft. If Airbus had had to borrow that money from commercial lenders at market rates, it is estimated that the company would have spent $35 billion to develop its aircraft models.



“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. We've got to stop the subsidies,” Murray said.



Senator Murray has long called on Europe to abandon illegal subsidies. She raised the prospect of a WTO case over a year ago in a speech to the Senate and was an early advocate for the United States to withdraw from the 1992 U.S.- EU Agreement on Trade in Large Commercial Aircraft.



In April, Murray helped introduce a resolution in the Senate that called on European governments to reject launch aid for Airbus and supported the President’s authority to take any action necessary to protect American aerospace jobs.



The full text of Murray’s remarks at today’s news conference follows:

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Remarks by Senator Patty Murray at an Aerospace Press Conference



Thank you all for coming out today. I especially want to thank the Museum of Flight for hosting us.



A New Day for Washington's Aerospace Workers



Well, it’s about 7 o’clock in the evening in Paris, but it’s a brand new day for aerospace workers here in Washington state. It’s a new day, because we are all here to stand together in support of American aerospace jobs and the best, most skilled aerospace workforce in the world – 55,000 of whom call Washington state home.



And today is a new day because of the bold action the Bush Administration and the USTR have taken in defense of our aerospace jobs by moving forward with a trade case against the EU at the World Trade Organization. We entered negotiations to avoid this move nearly six months ago – unfortunately the EU mocked our good faith efforts by moving ahead with new launch aid for the A350. I called on the Administration and Ambassadors Zoellick and Portman to move ahead with a trade case. And they have done just that. This is the right thing to do to protect American jobs and our aerospace industry well into the future.



Paris Air Show and Subsidies



As the Paris Air Show kicks off today– we will see many impressive displays of aviation, technology and innovation --- the 787 Dreamliner and 777 Worldliner, just to name a few.



But there is something else that will be on display at this year’s Air Show: the fruits of some thirty years of direct cash advances and illegal subsidies to Airbus. For more than three decades the European governments who created Airbus to specifically compete with the United States have aggressively funded, protected and promoted their venture.



Today Airbus is a mature company, with more than half of the market for large commercial aircraft – but Europe is still treating the company with kid gloves. Airbus has received at least $15 billion in direct cash advances from European governments to develop its family of aircraft.



If Airbus had had to borrow that money from commercial lenders at market rates, it is estimated that the company would have spent $35 billion to develop its aircraft models.



Such massive, market-distorting subsidies are today allowing Airbus to offer incentives for airlines to buy planes like the A380 – which made its Paris Air Show debut today. In fact, Airbus has received $3.7 billion in subsidies for the A380 – and now they are requesting $1.7 billion for the A350.



We know how much our own aerospace workers here in Washington sacrificed to land the 787. Because of those sacrifices they will build a plane that redefines aviation, and already the market is rewarding those sacrifices. But if we allow Europe to subsidize the A350, then our wins and our sacrifices will have been for nothing.



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. We've got to stop the subsidies.



Airbus's False PR Campaign



We also need 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.



In April, 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 No Friend of the U.S.



Not only does Airbus kill American jobs, but it has shown it is no friend of the United States. 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.



But guess who is at the Iran Air show – Airbus. And guess what they're doing – trying to sell their military helicopters to Iran. 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 and they have no business competing for our defense contracts. And I, for one, will work to ensure that that doesn’t happen.



So, I’m proud to be here today – as the Air Show kicks off in Paris -- with so many friends of American aerospace jobs. We know how important these jobs are to the future of our state, our economy and the American aerospace industry. And we are partnering on a local and federal level to make sure our country does right by our aerospace workers.



I now want to turn it over to great partner in the fight to protect jobs right here in the state of Washington – someone who helped me to convince our Senate colleagues to go on record in support of a trade case -- my colleague, Senator Maria Cantwell.