By Keith Laing
Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) is praising lawmakers in Washington state for approving a package of tax credits officials said would convince Boeing to keep building its 777X airplanes there.
Larsen said it was important for the Washington state legislature to have moved quickly to make sure Boeing kept building its planes outside of Seattle, Wash.
“Washington is the aerospace capital of the world, and we need to work together to keep it that way,” Larsen said in a statement. “Gov. [Jay] Inslee [D] and the state legislature deserve credit for working together so quickly to pass this package that will build on our state’s competitive advantage for aerospace work in the decades to come.”
Inslee said of the weekend that the passage of the tax credit legislation was a “great day for everyone in Washington.
“Winning the 777X will secure tens of thousands of jobs and yield huge economic benefits for generations to come,” Inslee said in a statement. “And it will bolster our state’s legacy as the aerospace capital of the world.”
The legislation follows a firestorm that developed in 2011 around Boeing’s decision to build its 787 “Dreamliner” airplane in South Carolina instead of Washington state.
Critics of the South Carolina move accused Boeing of trying to circumvent labor union laws, and the company was sued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), though the suit was later dropped.
Larsen touted the Boeing employees in Washington as “the best trained aerospace workers around.
“The education and training package will help ensure that the next generation of workers will be able to meet the demand for advanced aerospace manufacturing in the years ahead,” he said.
“In the 21st century, the commercial airplane business won’t be just Boeing and Airbus,” Larsen continued. “We need to prepare to compete with companies around the world. With our 100 years in aviation manufacturing, we have a head start on the competition. Keeping that lead may mean further changes to remain competitive and innovative.”