April 7, 2014
ALPA Calls for End to U.S. Funding of Widebody Aircraft for Foreign Competitors
Encourages House to ensure that Ex-Im Bank’s actions are transparent, not harmful to U.S. industry
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) urged members of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee to ensure that the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Bank) is adhering to the law, per the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012, and for Congress to fully exercise its Bank oversight responsibility ahead of this year’s authorization and Ranking Member Maxine Waters’ listening session tomorrow in Washington, D.C.
In a letter to Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R–Tex.) and Ranking Member Waters (D–Calif.), ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak requested that House members address the harm that the Bank’s financings do to U.S. airlines and their employees. “The Bank’s unnecessary financing of widebody aircraft provides state-sponsored foreign airlines, many of which have ample cash reserves and top tier credit ratings, an annual economic advantage of about $2 million per aircraft,” said Moak. When referring to the recent $162 billion in aircraft orders made by state-sponsored Persian Gulf airlines, Moak said, “Considering the huge number of aircraft on order by many of U.S. airlines’ foreign competitors, this advantage seriously harms U.S. airlines, which are not eligible for such market-distorting below-market Bank financing.”
The letter expressly stated that ALPA does not oppose the Bank or its mission, but it did draw attention to a recent U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing on the Bank’s reauthorization: “During the proceedings, it became clear, in the face of bipartisan inquiries, that major questions persist about the export credit agency’s continued lack of transparency, as well as the economic modeling it applies to determine the negative effect of its transactions on U.S. jobs.”
Calling for an end to the financing of widebody aircraft to foreign competitors by the Bank—and by default paid for by U.S. taxpayers—Moak concluded, “To that end, we also request that the committee reinforce its mandate that the Bank negotiate with foreign credit agencies to eliminate across the board financing for widebody aircraft.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing nearly 50,000 pilots at 31 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.
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