U.S. Senator Doug Jones, D-Ala., on Monday cautioned the Trump administration against levying tariffs on imported airplane parts, a move that could cost Alabama workers at the Airbus plant in Mobile their jobs.
Jones on Monday wrote to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging him to reconsider Airbus tariffs on components made in facilities in Europe.
Currently, Airbus’s plant in Mobile is excluded from existing tariffs, but a proposed set of new tariffs could impact the Alabama plant.
“I write today to urge the Administration not to impose tariffs on imported civilian aircraft component parts from the EU that are critical to the manufacturing of thousands of aircraft right here in the United States. As the Administration considers public comments on this complicated case, I hope the exclusion will be maintained for aircraft components destined for the Mobile, Alabama facility, the only Airbus operation in the Western Hemisphere,” Jones wrote in the letter.
“In today’s complex global economy, it is important to recognize that this decision impacts thousands of American employees,” Jones letter reads. “Moving forward with 100% tariffs on civilian aircraft components and assemblies without an exclusion for parts imported to Mobile will put thousands of jobs in South Alabama at risk.”
Airbus’s $600 million Mobile final assembly line facility builds jets for Delta, JetBlue, American, Delta, Frontier, Spirit, Allegiant and Hawaiian airlines.
Airbus earlier this month announced a $40 million expansion at the Mobile plant that would add 275 jobs.