Kansas senator attacks Brazil for supporting Embraer
Sam Brownback, a Kansas senator, has called on the US International Trade Commission to investigate whether foreign governments have provided illegal state aid to business aircraft manufacturers.
Brownback, a Republican senator for the state where Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft are based, has written an editorial alleging that illegal state aid has been provided to foreign manufacturers.
“Some foreign governments are heavily subsidizing – sometimes illegally – their domestic aircraft industries,” he said. “It is critical that we fully engage the competition and pursue all means necessary to ensure that an important US industry is not negatively affected by the illegal actions of foreign governments.”
The senator raised this point in the Senate chamber on July 31 asking Barack Obama, the US president, to launch an investigation.
In his speech Brownback warned that many countries are targeting business aviation but he singled out Brazilian support for Embraer and the manufacturer’s success since 2002. He compared Embraer’s business jet growth with that of Airbus, where the World Trade Organization found that European countries had illegally supported the development of the A380. The European Union is challenging that finding. He also mentioned that export credit should be investigated.
In his editorial he said: “I am working with my colleagues who sit on the Senate Finance Committee to request that the US International Trade Commission investigate the global competiveness of the US business aircraft industry and whether foreign government actions or subsidizations have had a negative impact on this industry. Specifically, the US International Trade Commission should focus on the business aircraft industry in the US, China, Brazil, Canada, and Europe, examining the composition of the current industry and the factors of competition in the global industry.”
Brownback said that in the last two years some 13,000 Kansans have lost their jobs in the general aviation industry. He also said that some members of Congress, officials in the White House, and members of the media had made “unhelpful and uncalled for attacks” on business jets.