The parent of European plane maker Airbus might accept tax breaks and other government incentives in the United States that are similar...
The parent of European plane maker Airbus might accept tax breaks and other government incentives in the United States that are similar to those it criticized rival Boeing for receiving.
European Aeronautic Defense & Space (EADS), the majority shareholder of Airbus, this week received proposals from 32 states offering 70 sites for a new U.S. plant.
EADS has said it will establish a U.S. plant to assemble aerial-refueling tankers if the Air Force picks it instead of Boeing for the multibillion-dollar contract.
The European company will take tax-break offers into account, EADS spokesman Guy Hicks said.
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“We wouldn’t rule out any kind of financial incentive that would go to any other company located in that state,” Hicks said.
Other considerations will include living costs and access to seaports, Hicks said.
Regardless of what happens with the tanker deal, Hicks said EADS is committed to building a U.S. engineering center that would employ about 150. He said EADS plans to winnow its list of potential sites to a smaller group over coming weeks then go back to bidders for more information before selecting a final site.
If EADS chooses a site in Washington state, it could qualify for some of the same tax breaks awarded to Boeing when it agreed to assemble its 787 jet there, said Michelle Zahrly, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Community Trade and Economic Development.
Three of the state’s Economic Development Councils are among the bidders. Their proposed sites are Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Paine Field in Everett and Spokane International Airport.
In 2003, state lawmakers approved aerospace tax breaks worth $3.2 billion over 20 years on condition that Boeing assemble the 787 in Washington.
The legislation leaves the door open for EADS to benefit from some of the same largesse, Zahrly said, but it was too early to say how much.
Seattle Times staff contributed to this report.