President Barack Obama announced a preliminary agreement on a landmark deal with the Indian Air Force to purchase 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III military aircrafts. East Hartford's Pratt & Whitney will produce the engines which will bring jobs and an economic boost to our area.
"The trade agreement with India to purchase C-17 aircrafts represents three words for Connecticut- jobs, jobs, jobs," stated Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01) upon hearing the announcement. "This is great news for our state and the employees at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford and Middletown. I praise President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Singh for working together to make this historic agreement possible for both nations. This is a win-win situation for the United States and India, increasing our trade and economic relations for years to come."
The Boeing C-17 military aircraft is powered by four Pratt & Whitney engines and with spares, it is expected that India would purchase approximately 45 engines. As stated by Boeing and the White House, this trade agreement is valued at approximately $4.1 billion and supports an estimated 22,160 jobs nationwide, including thousands in Connecticut. Once the agreement is fulfilled, the Indian Air Force will be the owner and operator of the largest fleet of C-17s outside of the United States.
This year, Congressman Larson spearheaded an initiative to invite diplomatic leaders from across the world to meet with Connecticut business owners and leaders to increase trade opportunities in the state. Indian Ambassador to the United States Meera Shankar visited Pratt & Whitney executives and workers in July.
"Earlier this year, I was proud to arrange a visit by Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar to Pratt to meet with Mr. Chênevert and UTC executives as well as an opportunity for her to speak to the machinists," added Congressman Larson. "Ambassador Shankar spoke to both groups about the great economic opportunity of trade between her nation and the United States. Over the next two years, I will continue inviting Ambassadors from foreign nations to Connecticut to meet with our businesses and further establish trade relations that will benefit our state in the future. Manufacturing is in our state's DNA and today's announcement represents the great significance of why we need to continue our vigilance in Congress to support the "Making it in America" agenda."