Legislation Must Protect U.S. Airline Industry Jobs
WASHINGTON – Capt. Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate’s procedural vote to block adding the reauthorization of the Export–Import Bank of the United States to other legislation currently under consideration by Senate lawmakers.
“The Air Line Pilots Association, International, does not oppose the Export–Import Bank’s reauthorization and we are hopeful that, with additional time before the final reauthorization is considered, all parties interested in the Bank’s reauthorization, including ALPA, can work together to amend the reauthorization to protect U.S. airline workers’ jobs without putting the Bank’s ultimate reauthorization in jeopardy.
“Over the past five years, the Ex–Im Bank has provided financing for dozens of widebody aircraft. This financing is provided at rates that are not available to U.S. airlines, and many of these Bank-subsidized aircraft are being used to fly routes that are, have been, and could be served by U.S. airlines. U.S. carriers have found that they have needed to withdraw from or not begin flying routes that might otherwise be economically viable. As a result, the Bank’s financing is directly and adversely affecting U.S. airlines and their employees. Further, there is every indication that Bank financing of widebody aircraft is likely to grow rapidly and increasingly threaten U.S. airlines’ ability to compete on international routes, costing ALPA members and other airline industry employees their jobs.
“Congress should amend the Bank’s reauthorization to direct the Administration to enter into negotiations with the five European countries with export credit agencies that support Airbus aircraft sales with the goal of eliminating ALL export credit agency financing of widebody aircraft. ALPA continues to support a robust manufacturing sector in our economy, and we are confident that there are many other transactions that could be financed by the Ex–Im Bank that would not negatively impact U.S. workers.
“Additionally, Congress should amend the reauthorization to ensure that the Bank undertakes the Congressionally mandated economic effects analysis for all of its potential financings. Congress must ensure that, with respect to each transaction, the impact of widebody aircraft financing for foreign carriers is, in fact, a net positive for U.S. industry and employees. If the required economic impact analysis reveals that a financing deal would result in a net negative impact on U.S. jobs, then the rational and Congressionally mandated outcome is that the transaction should not be supported by U.S. taxpayers.
“With these two straightforward additions to the Export-Import Bank’s reauthorization, we are confident that the Bank could be reauthorized quickly and all U.S. airline industry workers would be protected.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 53,000 pilots at 37 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.