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Senator Murray today spoke out on the news that the United States and the European Union had agreed to a three month negotiation period to end subsidies for large commercial aircraft. Murray has long advocated the United States take aggressive action to end direct subsidies to Airbus that continue to undermine the U.S. aerospace industry and American workers.

"Finally, through our direct action, the Europeans have acknowledged the need to come to the table to account for and defend Airbus’ unfair trade practices. The EU and Airbus have finally accepted that the status quo is indefensible. Now we must wait to see if the EU is interested in true competition between mature aerospace companies or a new subsidy regime to prop up an industry leader.

"This dispute is about multi-billion dollar cash advances to Airbus that have enabled virtual risk-free product development. Airbus continues to use this enormous subsidy to distort the international market for large commercial aircraft. We must end direct subsidies to Airbus to restore a competitive balance in large commercial aircraft trade whether through these negotiations or a trade case at the World Trade Organization.

"I commend Ambassador Zoellick and the President for their work on this issue. I will monitor these negotiations and work closely with the Administration to ensure that any final agreement truly levels the playing field for our commercial aircraft industry and workers. That is the only acceptable outcome for this most important process, and I will do everything I can to ensure this process produces real, meaningful reform.”

Senator Murray is the leading congressional critic of Airbus’ many trade-distorting actions. Senator Murray has given several major addresses on Airbus’ business practices in the United States and abroad.

Last July, Sen. Murray called for the United States to withdraw from the 1992 US-EU Agreement on Large Commercial Aircraft. Murray introduced legislation in 2004 to create a Senate Select Committee on Aerospace to study this critical industry, and Senator Murray will continue to be heavily involved in commercial aerospace issues in the 109th Congress and beyond.

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