The Air Line Pilots Association sent a letter Tuesday to Senate Banking Committee chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and ranking member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) urging the committee to impose tighter oversight on the Export-Import Bank of the United States and Congress to work toward eliminating financing for widebody aircraft to foreign carriers. The union sent the letter barely in advance of a January 28 committee hearing regarding the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank.
In the letter, ALPA reminded Congress that the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012 directed the bank to enter into discussions with its European Union counterparts to cease funding for widebody aircraft. “We hope you will ask the bank for a full accounting of the Department of Treasury’s multilateral negotiations on this congressional mandate and provide strict oversight to ensure that it indeed acts to substantially reduce—with the ultimate goal of ending—financing for widebody aircraft across the board,” ALPA wrote.
The act requires the bank to take into account any serious adverse effect of loans and/or guarantees on the competitive position of U.S. industry and employment in the U.S. ALPA representatives have informed committee members that the bank has not followed congressional intent.
“Loans made by the Bank for the purchase of widebody aircraft have led to job loss in the U.S. aviation industry,” said ALPA in its letter. “The present job impact analysis of the bank disregards the downstream negative impact of its loans on aviation workers and our industry. Transparency continues to be an area where the bank needs to improve.”