‘Relief and gratitude’: Mobile’s Airbus facility spared from potentially devastating tariffs
The Trump administration has announced a decision hugely beneficial to coastal Alabama’s aerospace industry.
While a World Trade Organization decision on Wednesday paved the way for the United States to impose sanctions on many goods made in the European Union, including a 10% tariff on Airbus aircraft built in the EU, critical component parts imported to Airbus’ Mobile manufacturing operations were exempted.
The exempted parts include semi-finished fuselages and wings, which arrive from Europe at the Port of Mobile to be used in final assembly of aircraft in the city.
In a statement, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) celebrated the news as “a massive win for the thousands of Alabama workers connected to Airbus Mobile.”
“I thank President Trump for joining me in always fighting for America first,” Byrne added. “Today’s decision is a major win for the citizens of Alabama and our country, and I thank Senator Shelby, Governor Ivey, Mayor Stimpson and others who joined me in working with the Administration on this issue.”
According to Reuters, the City of Mobile’s spokesman, George Talbot, has also commented on the news.
“Earlier today, we received confirmation from Airbus of very positive news that parts and components used at the final assembly plant in Mobile will not be subject to tariffs,” Talbot said.
“There is a great sense of relief and gratitude about the outcome,” he concluded.
Approximately 1,000 jobs in Alabama were reportedly at risk due to the threat of tariffs on the Airbus parts.
Airbus in recent months began manufacturing A220 aircraft at its Mobile facility, which was a key milestone in growth plans that will see the company add a second assembly line and hire more than 400 new workers at the site.
The company began producing A320 aircraft at its $600 million south Alabama manufacturing plant in late 2015. As of two months ago, the company had delivered more than 130 aircraft to eight different airlines, with Delta claiming the most, with 52 deliveries.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn