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Moran, Cantwell introduce bill to consider subsidies in tanker competition

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran is trying again. Moran, R-Kan., and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., introduced a bill Wednesday that would require the Department of Defense to consider the impact of foreign subsidies to Airbus when it awards a contract to replace the Air Force’s fleet of aging refueling tankers.

The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., along with senators from Missouri, Washington and South Carolina.

Last year, a World Trade Organization panel found European governments guilty of providing billions in illegal subsidies for development of the Airbus A330 airframe, the plane EADS is using for its tanker platform.

In December, Moran, then a U.S. Representative, and Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., sponsored identical legislation, which passed the House by a wide margin, but didn’t make it through the Senate.

EADS and Boeing are competing for the contract.