300 Members of Congress Voice Support for Enforcing Open Skies Agreements Against Gulf Carrier Subsidies

Bipartisan Colorado Delegation Joins the Majority of Congress in Calling for End to Aviation Trade Cheating

WASHINGTON, DC (October 17, 2017) – The Partnership for Open & Fair Skies announced today that 300 current members of Congress have sent letters calling for the U.S. government to put a stop to the Gulf carrier trade violations. This week’s newest letter, from six members of Colorado’s congressional delegation, urges the Trump administration to address the over $50 billion in unfair subsidies that the UAE and Qatar have provided to their state-owned airlines, in violation of bilateral Open Skies agreements. These subsidies threaten the foundation of international aviation policy, and skew the competitive playing field to the point where rule-abiding businesses cannot effectively compete.

“The consensus in Congress is overwhelming – the massive Gulf carrier subsidies are hurting U.S. jobs, and our government cannot let these foreign trade cheaters threaten an entire American industry,” said Jill Zuckman, chief spokesperson for the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies. “We’re grateful to Colorado’s congressional delegation for letting the administration know they will not stand for these attacks on American workers. With 300 members of Congress speaking out, we’re optimistic that the Trump administration will see that this issue unites Americans across the country and the political spectrum. But while 300 is a big number, what cannot be ignored are the over 1.2 million Americans whose jobs are at risk from subsidy-fueled Gulf carrier expansion.”

“The reason bilateral trade agreements exist is to make sure we are creating an even playing field for both domestic and foreign companies. Enforcement of these are not only vital to our commerce and economy, but also to ensure that the consumer has a variety of options when it comes to transportation. I stand with my colleagues in calling for proper trade enforcement, and I ask Secretary Tillerson & Secretary Chao to look into this matter further” said Rep. Mike Coffman.

The Colorado letter was signed by U.S. Representatives Diana DeGette, Mike Coffman, Ed Perlmutter, Doug Lamborn, Jared Polis and Scott Tipton. The delegation joins other bipartisan letters from the delegations of Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Minnesota, Utah, Texas, Ohio and North Carolina calling for the United States to enforce its Open Skies agreements with the UAE and Qatar. Additional letters of support this year came from 25 Members of Congress from New York and New Jersey, leading political and business figures in Georgia and Utah, and two bipartisan groups of U.S. Senators, as well as individual letters to the Trump administration from Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Rob Portman.

The Colorado delegation letter can be found here.