Senator: Boeing Made Up Mind to Move 787 Several Years Ago
According to State Senator Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) Boeing's decision to move it's 787 Dreamliner manufacturing to South Carolina actually was made several years ago. They just didn't say much about it.
Ericksen told KIRO-Radio in Seattle Monday, he believes Boeing made up it's mind after Gov. Inslee vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have lowered the manufacturing tax for all major industries to the same level as Boeing.
For years, Boeing has received extensive tax breaks, due to their huge economic footprint in our state. Then in 2011, the World Trade Organization (WTO) on behalf of airliner competitor Airbus sued Washington state. They claimed the tax breaks were an 'unfair subsidy.' Especially concerning the newer 787 Dreamliner. Several years of legal wrangling began.
Finally, in 2018 the State Legislature passed a bill that would have lowered the manufacturing tax rate for other companies to the same level as Boeing, thereby eliminating much of this 'unfair' subsidy. Ericksen said it was a bipartisan vote, and sailed through. This would have helped manufacturing, still allowed Boeing some other breaks, and would have eliminated the momentum behind the WTO lawsuit.
However, Gov. Inslee vetoed it.
Ericksen said he believed Boeing made their decision, that day, they were going to start leaving. He was part of the legislative team that worked on that tax project. He also told KIRO the recurring theme from Boeing was that every other state they've gone to (including South Carolina) they were welcomed with open arms. But now in WA, they feel like the Governor is trying to show them the door.
That's a real shift, because Boeing was founded in Seattle, and has always had decent relations with Governors for years.
Ericksen also says an abundance of "cheap" electricity because of our hydro-electric industry has drawn many companies to our state. However, besides the growing unfriendly tax and business climate fostered by Inslee, Ericksen says Inslee trying to push his green agenda is causing electrical rates to rise.
The combination of the two will only increasingly make it more difficult for companies to operate, relocate to, or start up here. He also believes reputation is big; we're fast getting a new bad rep as an unfriendly business climate.