Brownback Joins U.S. Tanker Coalition as Co-Chair

Brownback Joins U.S. Tanker Coalition as Co-Chair
Brownback and fellow Co-Chair Gov. Chris Gregorie urge President for fair competition

Topeka – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback announced today he has joined Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire as co-chair of the U.S. Tanker Coalition, a bi-partisan effort led by governors from across the country who support awarding the U.S. Air Force Refueling Tanker Contract to The Boeing Company.

“I am excited to work with Governor Gregoire and the Tanker Coalition and to continue my efforts to get the Air Force’s new tankers built here in the U.S. Our workers have the skills and expertise that a new generation of warfighters will depend on to keep America secure,” Gov. Brownback said. “This is the type of economic growth government can provide to get the U.S. back on the road to economic recovery with good jobs.”

“I look forward to working with Gov. Brownback. It’s time we deliver an American made tanker to our airmen and women,” Gov. Gregoire said. “We both know the importance of a Boeing built tanker – not just to Washington state and Kansas, but to our entire nation. Not only would Boeing build the most cost-effective tanker, but 40 states would play a role in its construction, ensuring more than 50,000 aerospace workers nationwide are employed.”

The governors today sent a joint-letter to President Obama, urging him to instruct the Department of Defense and the Air Force to factor into the tanker evaluation process the illegal subsidies that unfairly lower the price of every airframe that Airbus sells.

“We have no doubt that the Air Force is conducting a thorough analysis of the two proposals based on their technical merits and price,” the two governors wrote. “The Air Force has, however, continued to refuse to consider in its evaluation the impact of government subsidies, deemed illegal by the World Trade Organization, on the price of the EADS/Airbus tanker.”

They continued, “The U.S. aerospace industry is the finest in the world and is not afraid of competition. But competition must take place on a level playing field, and right now, the field is tilted in favor of EADS/Airbus.”

To read a copy of the letter, visit: http://www.governor.wa.gov/news/tanker_letter_obama.pdf

The Department of Defense and U.S. Air Force are expected to announce which company it has selected to replace the fleet of aerial refueling tankers within a month of the Feb. 11 submittal date. Last spring Boeing reported Kansas would benefit approximately 7,500 jobs and an estimated $388 million in annual economic impact if the company won the contract.

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