Mon, Nov 01, 2004
Stonecipher: "They're Bargaining Chips"
Those tax breaks Boeing's coaxed out of local governments aren't
subsidies. They're "bargaining chips." So says Boeing CEO Harry
Stonecipher, replying to Airbus allegations that the Chicago-based
company has enjoyed a number of local tax breaks which amount to
government backing of the aerospace giant.
"As to whether or not the tax incentives in Washington state are
a subsidy or not is something that will be argued long and hard, as
we consider it nothing more than lowering the cost of doing
business in the state of Washington and is general to aerospace,"
Stonecipher during a conference call with both reporters and
Stonecipher's remarks came after the US unilaterally withdrew
from a 1992 treaty with the European Union governing aerospace
subsidies. Airbus charges Boeing has received billions in
subsidies, while the Bush administration throws rocks at the
government backing Airbus itself gets from members of the EU. The
case is now before the World Trade Organization.
"We have said we want full transparency, that we want to be sure
everything is out on the table," Stonecipher said, as quoted in the
Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "When you compare Washington state's
tax incentives I think you will find they are not as good as Airbus
gets in Toulouse and in Hamburg.... We've had a lot of people
trying to figure out what those are."
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