WASHINGTON --- The following is a statement by the President at the Boeing Field/King County International Airport in Seattle, Washington, Friday, August 13, 2004:
THE PRESIDENT: It's my honor to come to this vital and important United States manufacturing company. Boeing is a great name in American industry. Not only does Boeing make a great product, the Boeing Company has got great workers. It's been my honor to spend some time with the people who work here, talking about our world, talking about the need for our country to be confident when it comes to world trade.
I assured the folks with whom I was talking that my administration is dedicated to free and fair trade. See, I believe if our country is treated fairly, we can compete with anybody, anytime, anywhere.
The Boeing Company competes against Airbus, which is a European company. Airbus was founded about 30 years ago and has received, in those 30 years, large government subsidies from European nations, and continues to receive them.
And I think those subsidies are unfair. I think it makes it, it's unfair to this American company that these European governments continue to subsidize Airbus. And so I informed these good folks who work here that I've instructed U.S. Trade Representative Bob Zoellick to inform European officials in his September meeting that we think these subsidies are unfair and that he should pursue all options to end these subsidies, including bringing a WTO case, if need be. We believe in free trade, we want that free trade to be fair, as well.
And getting rid of the subsidies of Airbus will make the trade fair; will make the playing field level.
I also want to say something about those residents in Florida. I have been in touch with the governor and FEMA Director Mike Brown about the Hurricane Charley, that is hitting the coast, the western coast of Florida. Our prayers are with you and your families tonight. We have deployed resources to help. I have declared an emergency and the process is now in place to aid, provide federal aid to those who may be affected by this hurricane. And as I repeat, we ask God's blessing on those who were in the path of that hurricane.
Thank you all very much. (ends)