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Members of Congress Call on the Administration to Address Unfair Middle East Airline Subsidies

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Sabrina Singh

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 30, 2015) – Today 262 Members of Congress sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx urging them to request consultations with the governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because those governments have been providing massive, market-distorting subsidies to their state-owned airlines. In the past decade, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and Emirates have received over $42 billion in subsidies and other unfair benefits from Qatar and the UAE.

“The Partnership welcomes the support of a bipartisan majority of Congress in urging the Obama administration to address the $42 billion in subsidies and other unfair benefits that Qatar and the UAE have provided to their state-owned airlines in the last decade,” said Jill Zuckman, chief spokesperson for the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies. “State subsidies undermine free and fair competition, are in violation of Open Skies policy and threaten thousands of good American jobs."

In the letter, 262 Members expressed concern that distortions to the international aviation market will lead to American job losses and other negative impacts on the U.S. economy. Reps. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Robert Dold (R-IL), Steve Israel (D-NY), Tom Emmer (R- MN), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Paul Cook (R-CA) organized the letter.

“We thank these leaders for recognizing the urgent need to open consultations with Qatar and the UAE,” added Zuckman. “Inaction poses a serious threat to the U.S. aviation industry and American jobs.”

 

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