Contact: Ron Boehmer 202-225-2906
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02) this week joined members of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation in calling on the U.S. Departments of State, Transportation, and Commerce to enforce the Open Skies agreements with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Enforcing these agreements is critical to protecting the jobs of more than 1,000 U.S. airline employees in Wisconsin and thousands more across the country.
“Since 1992, the United States has entered into Open Skies agreements with 120 countries. These bilateral aviation trade agreements allow for market principles rather than government regulation to provide access to destinations at home and abroad and are premised on fair and equal competition,” wrote the Members. “The Open Skies policy has been a success, with two notable exceptions – Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. These countries have provided more than $50 billion in subsidies to their state-owned airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates Airline, and Etihad Airways. These subsidies undermine the principle behind the Open Skies policy by creating market distortions and hamper the ability of U.S. airlines and their workers to compete.”
“Every long-haul international route lost to the subsidized Gulf carriers costs more than 1,500 American jobs and jeopardizes service to markets throughout the country, including in Wisconsin,” continued the Members. “We cannot afford to continue to allow these subsidies to harm American workers. We respectfully ask that you enforce the Open Skies agreements with Qatar and the UAE and ensure that there is a fair and equal opportunity for U.S. airlines and aviation workers to compete.”
The full letter is available here.