Bipartisan Wisconsin Congressional Delegation Urges Action Against Gulf Carrier Trade Cheating

The UAE and Qatar have provided over $50 billion in illegal subsidies to their state-owned airlines, putting thousands of Wisconsin jobs at risk.

WASHINGTON, DC (September 20, 2017) – A bipartisan group of seven U.S. representatives from Wisconsin have called on the Trump administration to enforce American trade agreements and address the illegal subsidies that the United Arab Emirates and Qatar provide to their state-owned airlines. Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways have together received over $50 billion in government subsidies, violating the terms of Open Skies policy and threatening the livelihoods of American workers.

“Without strict enforcement of our aviation trade agreements, these heavily subsidized carriers will continue to introduce new routes, ultimately weakening the American aviation industry and hurting Wisconsin workers and communities,” said the letter, which was sent to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. The massive subsidies have allowed the Gulf carriers to rapidly expand at a rate beyond reasonable market demand, at the expense of their fair-playing competitors.

“Members of Congress from across the country are united in their concern over the Gulf carriers’ trade cheating schemes, and recognize the significant threat to American jobs,” said Jill Zuckman, chief spokesperson for the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies. “We applaud Wisconsin’s congressional leadership for standing up for U.S. workers and fair competition. We look forward to working with the Trump administration to enforce our trade agreements and level the playing field for American businesses and jobs.”

The letter was signed by U.S. Representatives Sean Duffy, Mark Pocan, Ron Kind, Gwen Moore, Jim Sensenbrenner, Glenn Grothman and Mike Gallagher. The delegation joins other bipartisan letters from the delegations of Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Minnesota, Utah, Texas and Ohio 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.