Bipartisan Indiana Congressional Delegation Calls for Action Against Rule-Breaking Gulf Carrier Subsidies

WASHINGTON, DC (December 14, 2017) – Five members of Congress from Indiana recently sent a letter to top officials in the Trump administration to urge action against repeated trade violations by the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The bipartisan delegation asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to address the more than $50 billion in subsidies that these two countries have provided to their state-owned airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. The subsidies threaten over 1.2 million American jobs and violate Open Skies trade policy, which governs fair international aviation.

“The bilateral Open Skies agreements that the U.S. has signed are meant to promote fair competition and protect against trade violations such as government-funded subsidies,” wrote the representatives from Indiana. “And while the vast majority of our country’s Open Skies agreements work well, it is clear that the agreements with Qatar and the UAE must be enforced before more international routes are lost, and jobs and service are jeopardized.”

“The commercial aviation industry supports over 12,000 Indiana jobs and generates more than $1 billion in economic activity for the state,” said Jill Zuckman, chief spokesperson for the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies. “We’re grateful that Indiana’s congressional leaders – and the majority of the U.S. Congress – recognize the importance of this industry and are standing up for American workers against rule-breaking Gulf carrier subsidies. We look forward to working with the Trump administration to enforce America’s trade agreements against further violations.”

Over 300 current members of Congress have sent letters urging action against the Gulf carrier trade cheating. The Indiana letter was signed by U.S. Representatives Jim Banks, Larry Bucshon, André Carson, Pete Visclosky and Jackie Walorski.

The delegation joins other bipartisan letters from the delegations of Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Minnesota, Utah, Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, Colorado, West Virginia and California 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 full Indiana letter can be found here.