During the first day of a special session — called for the purposes of passing legislation to secure the Boeing 777X in Washington state — the aerospace giant sent the governor a letter reaffirming the need for action.
“The Boeing Company faces an unprecedented level of competitiveness in the global dynamics within the aerospace industry. Our future success demands that we respond to those dynamics to remain competitive,” wrote Tim Keating, Boeing’s senior vice president of government operations.
“I want to confirm that in proposing your package of incentives for legislative consideration, you have correctly interpreted our previous conversations about the elements needed for us to be competitive long into the future in Washington State, and the need for timely action to show partnership with out workforce.”
Questions have surfaced about whether a special session is needed to secure the 777X. Gov. Jay Inslee’s office has responded with letters from both Boeing and the Machinists union discussing the need for the Legislature to act.
Inslee earlier this week called for the special session to pass a $10 billion transportation package. In addition, the governor wants the Legislature to extend existing commercial-airplane tax incentives — due to expire in 2024 — until 2040; to expand a sales-and-use tax exemption for construction of buildings used to manufacture airplanes; and to boost enrollment in aerospace fields at colleges, among other actions.
The House Finance Committee will hear a bill today at 1:30 p.m. that would extend aerospace tax incentives. Floor action could come as soon as Saturday.
In addition to legislative action, Boeing wants the Machinists union to accept a new eight-year contract with big cuts in future pension and health-care benefits in exchange for securing the 777X work.