May 4, 2012
WASHINGTON–The following statement is from Capt. Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, on today’s bipartisan agreement on the Export-Import Bank’s reauthorization.
“The bipartisan reforms announced today to aircraft financing by the Export-Import Bank are a first step toward ending worldwide subsidies of widebody aircraft and will help to protect U.S. airline workers from unmerited, subsidized foreign competition. The reforms will also shine some desperately needed light on the Bank’s financing processes.
“By directing the United States to negotiate with the four European countries that finance Airbus, the reauthorization will help bring about a necessary end to worldwide subsidies of widebody aircraft. There is no justifiable reason why U.S. taxpayer money should be used to put one sector of jobs at a disadvantage while helping another.
“Getting things done in Washington, D.C., is about compromise, and I am pleased that all parties were able to come together to agree to this reasonable settlement. I applaud the leadership of Majority Leader Cantor and Minority Whip Hoyer for their diligent work to bring this compromise together in a way that protects U.S. manufacturing and airline jobs. I am encouraged that the House intends to take up this legislation next week, and I hope that the Senate will follow this action with haste.
“It is important to ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars are not used in a way that potentially has a net detrimental effect on U.S. employment. This agreement today recognizes this fact and is designed to correct an emerging and egregious problem with Ex-Im Bank aircraft financing. This is a positive move toward leveling the playing field for U.S. airlines and their workers in the global marketplace.
“The reauthorization bill will aid in ending subsidies for widebody airplanes. This action will help to level the playing field for U.S. airlines that compete with foreign airlines, including many that are state-sponsored, that buy U.S.- and European-manufactured planes at below-market rates unavailable to U.S. and many European airlines. This subsidized financing gives our foreign competitors a significant cost advantage, allowing them to drive U.S. airlines out of international routes and costing airline workers’ jobs. More work needs to be done, and ALPA will remain vigorously engaged in this fight.”
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.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703/481-4440 or firstname.lastname@example.org