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Legislators preparing Washington to compete to keep Boeing production line

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on June 27, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
June 27, 2008 1:50 pm

A dozen legislators are making early preparations for the time when production of Boeing’s popular 737 winds down at the company’s Renton plant.

Anticipating a competition like Boeing created for the assembly site of the 787 Dreamliner, legislators are already talking about what tax breaks, worker training initiatives and infrastructure improvements will keep single-aisle jetliner here. Washington won the 787 competition five years ago amidst strong competition from other states.

Meeting at a Sea-Tac hotel this week, the lawmakers and industry officials discussed how to keep Washington competitive with aggressive southern states and foreign sites where wages are lower and state-paid incentives are higher.

They’ll have a few years to lay their plans. Boeing has delayed the introduction of a 737 successor until about 2020 because earlier plans to build a follow-on plane failed to produce the kinds of economic savings that would have been worth the multi-billion investment needed to create a 737 successor.

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