What a week. So much is happening it can be hard to keep current events straight. We’re usually right there with you. But last week, something happened that is cemented into our minds, and it’s such a big deal we couldn’t wait to share it with you.
PRESIDENT TRUMP TOOK ACTION TO END THE UAE’S ILLEGAL AVIATION TRADE VIOLATIONS.
This is a big win in the fight for fair competition. Don’t get us wrong- there’s more fighting yet to do, and we’ll get to that in a minute, but first, let us break down this historic agreement for American workers.
This agreement includes the UAE’s acknowledgment of subsidy harm, a commitment to financial transparency, and a freeze of fifth freedom rights for illegally subsidized UAE carriers.
As Peter Navarro, director of the National Trade Council at the White House put it, “the Trump Administration will rigorously ensure that our Open Skies Agreements and these new understandings continue to work in the best interests of Americans. As our president continues to demonstrate, he will never back down when American jobs are at stake and American companies are at risk.”
This agreement comes on the heels of a similar one signed with the State of Qatar in January 2018 – back to back trade wins for the President, the American public, and U.S. national security.
Yesterday, speaking at an event at the Hudson Institute on the Open Skies issue, Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich made it clear – President Trump has been remarkably consistent on issues that are in the best interest of the American people and U.S. national security. Speaker Gingrich went on to say, “Anybody who thinks that Trump will forget the agreement and that they can back track, this administration is going to be very aggressive if they find out either of these two airlines [Emirates & Etihad] are not keeping to the agreement.”
We are deeply grateful for the President’s leadership on this issue. We’ve made tremendous progress towards leveling the playing field and ending the market distorting subsidies of the Gulf nations. But as we said before, the fight is not yet over.
Already, Qatar’s state-owned airline, Qatar Airways, is looking to subvert their 5th freedoms freeze by using their substantial ownership stake in Air Italy to drive expansion into the U.S. under the Air Italy flag. This is yet another example of these Gulf countries seeking to exploit their trade agreements with the U.S. for their own economic advantage. As recently pointed out in an op-ed in The Daily Caller, former Navy SEAL Robert Mitchell stated with respect to the Air Italy flight, “This route may be in violation of the agreement freezing any new 5th Freedom flights, and the Trump administration must look into this with great interest and ensure that if it is in violation, that the agreement is enforced and this flight is prohibited.”
At that same Hudson Institute event, former Secretary of Transportation, Jim Burnley, said, “like Mr. Reagan, Mr. Trump has positioned himself as a strong defender of American workers. For that, he deserves our high praise.” But we must once again, ask our President and his administration to go to bat once again for American workers and ensuring that all the progress that has been made through these agreements is sustained through their enforcement.