Arizona Congressional Delegation Calls on Trump Administration to Enforce Open Skies Policy Against UAE, Qatar Trade Cheating

Airline subsidies from foreign governments put over 10,000 Arizona jobs at risk.

Washington, D.C. (September 20, 2017) – In a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, seven members of Congress from Arizona called on the Trump administration to enforce the United States’ aviation agreements by addressing major trade violations by the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. These two countries have provided their state-owned airlines – Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways – with over $50 billion dollars in subsidies, violating their Open Skies trade deals with the U.S. The subsidies skew the competitive market and make it impossible for rule-abiding businesses to effectively compete, putting Arizona jobs at risk.

“In Arizona, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines together employ over 10,600 aviation workers and contribute to the health of the state’s economy,” said Jill Zuckman, chief spokesperson for the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies. “But this economic success story is at risk due to the Gulf carriers’ massive trade cheating. We thank the members of Arizona’s congressional delegation for asking the Trump administration to enforce our trade agreements on behalf of hard-working Americans.”

The UAE and Qatar’s trade cheating further puts at risk access to vital air services in small and medium communities in Arizona. The delegation notes in their letter: “the Gulf carriers’ subsidies threaten airline service to small communities that rely on regular traffic from our country’s large international hub cities. This includes the smaller markets in our state that consumers rely on, such as Flagstaff, Yuma, Peach Springs and Grand Canyon/Tusayan.”

The letter was signed by U.S. Representatives Andy Biggs, Kyrsten Sinema, Trent Franks, Paul Gosar, Ruben Gallego, Tom O’Halleran and Raúl Grijalva. The delegation joins other bipartisan letters from the delegations of Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Minnesota, Utah, Texas, Ohio and Wisconsin 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 delegation letter can be found here.