Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced legislation requiring the Pentagon to take any unfair competitive advantages gained through illegal subsides into consideration in the competition to replace Air Force aerial refueling tankers. The legislation is identical to an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act Cantwell co-sponsored last fall. U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) also co-sponsored the legislation.
"American workers, warfighters, and taxpayers deserve a level playing field in the tanker competition," said Senator Cantwell. "Our aerospace workers are the best in the world, and they should not be disadvantaged by illegal subsidies, especially in this economy."
"Illegal foreign subsidies are distorting this competition and stacking the deck against American workers," said Senator Patty Murray. "The U.S. government and the World Trade Organization have both come to the conclusion that these subsidies give Airbus a competitive advantage and that they have cost us American jobs. It's time for the Pentagon to take these subsidies into account and level the playing field for the best workers in the world right here in America."
Cantwell and Murray have long fought to ensure American aerospace workers are competing on a level playing field during the tanker completion. In December, they led a bipartisan group of Senators in a letter to Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, calling for the inclusion of their amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act. Cantwell also called for the Senate Armed Service Committee to investigate the release of proprietary data in the competition. That hearing will take place tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room G50.