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Gov. Inslee: State will take ‘hard look’ at Boeing tax breaks if 787 production leaves

Workers cross a street near the Boeing 737 MAX factory on April 29, 2020 in Renton, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Boeing will likely consolidate its 787 Dreamliner assembly in South Carolina in a move that would eliminate 787 production in the Puget Sound region.

The WSJ reports that it’s not clear on the timeline or how many employees would be affected by the decision. An announcement could come as soon as this week, the sources told the WSJ.

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Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement Wednesday following these reports. He says if the report is true, Boeing is “turning its back” on workers and the “best place in the world to build airplanes.”

Inslee adds that if true, the state would be forced to review its partnership with the Boeing Company, which includes a look at the “company’s favorable tax treatment.”

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The governor says he and his office have reached out to Boeing multiple times in recent weeks to ask what the state needs to do to keep 787 production in Washington, but has received no response.

Read Gov. Inslee’s full statement:

If the Wall Street Journal report is accurate, Boeing would be turning its back on the finest workers and the best place in the world to build airplanes. Washington state has supported the company with a well-trained workforce, a robust supply line, unparalleled infrastructure, world-class research institutions and the best business climate in America. If this report is true, it would force a review of that partnership, including a hard look at the company’s favorable tax treatment.

While Washington would continue to have more than 70,000 aerospace employees, this move could jeopardize as many as 1,000 Washington jobs.

We have asked the Boeing Company multiple times what it needs to keep 787 production in Washington. We’ve heard nothing back. Nor have we heard anything about how to restart this work when conditions improve. This move would signal an allegiance to short-term profits and Wall Street – not quality, safety and a vision for the future of the industry.

Washington state remains the best place in the world to make airplanes. The Boeing Company still has a large presence here, amidst an innovative aerospace sector that includes some of the best workers anywhere and hundreds of businesses that are part of a high-quality supply chain. The future is here.

I stand ready to work with the Boeing Company to keep production here, and with the workforce to ensure, regardless of outcome, that we keep a strong aerospace sector alive in Washington state.

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