Open Skies Program Provides Subsidies for Foreign Airliners at the Expense of American Jobs
The White House is being called on to investigate and potentially renegotiate the Open Skies agreement, as airliners claim that not doing so will cost thousands of American jobs while non-U.S. carriers are benefiting from U.S. subsidies.
It’s not exactly a good look for President Donald Trump, as some airliners claim that the Open Skies program—a series of agreements that gives a number of countries access to U.S. air markets—is killing U.S. jobs.
On the surface, Open Skies seems like a win for the consumer by providing more competition and options, and therefore lower prices. But in the long run, this could cost thousands of U.S. jobs in the airline industry if they run out of business due to the Open Skies agreement.
Some investigators believe as much as $50.0 billion in subsidies were given over to Gulf carriers between 2004 to 2015. The optics of the move paint a picture of the U.S. government paying for Gulf carriers to come in and price out their competition, therefore culling thousands of American jobs should one of the carriers have to cancel a flight path due to the increased competition.
With Trump being adamant that he would bring jobs back to America, it is unlikely that he would be supportive of the deal.
While the voices calling for the total trashing of the agreement are limited, many want to see Trump renegotiate the deal in order to secure the future of airliners in the country.
But Trump has been mired in scandal and is current attempting to get both his budget and his healthcare reform bill repealing the Affordable Care Act through Congress. As such, it may be a while before the president is able to turn his full attention towards several other issues surrounding the presidency like the Open Skies agreement.
“Pilots and members of congress blame Gulf airlines for U.S. job losses,” Travel + Leisure, June 9, 2017.