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Senator Doug Jones Urges Trump Administration to Reconsider Airbus Tariffs That Could Impact Jobs in Mobile

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.) today sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer urging him to reconsider Airbus tariffs that would impact the component facilities located in Mobile, Alabama. The tariffs in question could impact components crucial to Airbus assembly and lead to job losses in the Port City. Airbus’ Mobile facility is excluded from current tariffs impacting its sister production facilities in Europe, but under a new proposed set of tariffs on civilian aircraft components, that exclusion may not continue.

“I write today to urge the Administration not to impose tariffs on imported civilian aircraft component parts from the EU that are critical to the manufacturing of thousands of aircraft right here in the United States. As the Administration considers public comments on this complicated case, I hope the exclusion will be maintained for aircraft components destined for the Mobile, Alabama facility, the only Airbus operation in the Western Hemisphere,” Senator Jones wrote.

Senator Jones’ letter continued, “In today’s complex global economy, it is important to recognize that this decision impacts thousands of American employees. Moving forward with 100% tariffs on civilian aircraft components and assemblies without an exclusion for parts imported to Mobile will put thousands of jobs in South Alabama at risk.”

A copy of the letter is available here and below.

January 13, 2020

The Honorable Robert Lighthizer
United States Trade Representative
600 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20508
Re: Docket No. USTR-2019-0003: Enforcement of US WTO Rights in Large Civil Aircraft Dispute 

Dear Ambassador Lighthizer:

I write today to urge the Administration not to impose tariffs on imported civilian aircraft component parts from the EU that are critical to the manufacturing of thousands of aircraft right here in the United States.  As the Administration considers public comments on this complicated case, I hope the exclusion will be maintained for aircraft components destined for the Mobile, Alabama facility, the only Airbus operation in the Western Hemisphere.

In today’s complex global economy, it is important to recognize that this decision impacts thousands of American employees. Moving forward with 100% tariffs on civilian aircraft components and assemblies without an exclusion for parts imported to Mobile will put thousands of jobs in South Alabama at risk. Our engineers and production technicians work at 3 major facilities in the Mobile area that today are proud to produce more than 4 aircraft per month.  Indeed, more than 1,250 hardworking Alabama men and women have delivered over 140 A320 planes to the US domestic market. These are American jobs, and Airbus is at the very heart of the aerospace industry growth that continues to create new and better opportunities for Alabama workers. 

The $600 million investment Airbus made in Alabama in 2012 jumpstarted the entire advanced manufacturing economy that we are proud to have developed in South Alabama, and it continues to grow as Airbus grows.  Last year, Airbus doubled down on their initial investment and broke ground on a $300 million manufacturing facility to produce yet another model, the A220, from the Mobile facility with deliveries starting this year.  Airbus hired another 520 technicians in 2019, more than doubling its number of employees in one year.  Airbus continues to thrive in Mobile, and just last week announced they will hire another 275 American workers.  

Maintaining the exclusion for civilian aircraft imports to this area is critical to South Alabama.  Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Doug Jones

United States Senator

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All Information was gathered from publicly available US Government releases. "§105. Subject matter of copyright: United States Government works Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise. ( Pub. L. 94–553, title I, §101, Oct. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 2546 .)" http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=(title:17%20section:105%20edition:prelim)