Saturday, June 27, 2020

Mobile again fights tariffs

MOBILE, Ala. - Mobile’s Airbus plant is again faced with the prospect of tariffs, so once again city and county officials are writing letters and forwarding them to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office in opposition. Keeping imported airplane parts from Europe off the list of items being assessed for higher tariffs is a routine that crops up every 180 days as the government revises its list of goods that will receive higher tariffs. Jobs are at stake if the cost of manufacturing in airplanes soars in Alabama from tariffs on fuselages, wings, and other components that are assembled into a commercial airplane by the Mobile workforce. “Our hope is that the USTR will continue to listen to the people and communities that would be negatively and directly impacted by the implementation of additional tariffs,” said Kristi Tucker, spokeswoman with Airbus. The European-based aerospace giant has its largest North American manufacturing presence in Mobile, where over 1,100 employees work at the company’s assembly plant for the A320 and A220-series aircrafts at the Mobile Aeroplex. The World Trade Organization last year ruled Airbus was provided unfair government subsidies, allowing the U.S. to place higher tariffs on EU goods. The new round of tariff talks are expected to conclude at the same time the WTO is expected to rule on a parallel case that Boeing benefitted from illegal U.S. subsidies. The WTO case, once concluded, will allow European countries to respond with tariffs of their own. (Source:, 06/27/20)