Kristiansen: Boeing’s pick of South Carolina for 787 line should be ‘wake-up call’ for Washington state

Lawmaker says decision not surprising, since state has been in denial over employer concerns


House Republican Caucus Chairman Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, issued the following statement after Boeing announced it would put its second line for building the 787 in South Carolina, not Snohomish County.

“It’s extremely disappointing that Boeing has chosen South Carolina over Washington, but not surprising at all. Boeing has been very critical of our state’s difficult regulatory atmosphere. At the end of the day, it has to be able to compete successfully on an international scale, especially against Airbus. Instead of providing a level playing field, Washington has consistently put up barriers that make it difficult not only for Boeing to compete, but also for other employers throughout our state.

“It’s been no secret that other states have been courting Boeing for years. Boeing has tried to make it work here. However, it has gotten to a point with unemployment insurance issues, regulatory burdens, business and occupation taxes, and recently, the governor being willing to consider tax increases, that Washington is no longer a place where Boeing can be competitive.

“In South Carolina, it took only days for Boeing to get the permits it needs to move forward with the second 787 plant. In Washington, it would take years. That’s one of many examples in which our state has not been helpful and has stood in the way of the ability for Boeing to successfully compete here.

“When Boeing decided several years ago to move its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago, many of my House Republican colleagues and I warned that unless the Legislature was willing to make reforms to improve the state’s business climate, we may see further departures. The governor and the majority party have been in denial about concerns of job providers and now our predictions are unfortunately coming true.

“We must also remember this is not just about Boeing. Many other employers rely on Boeing and its workforce to support their companies. Hundreds of thousands of jobs in Washington are indirectly related to Boeing and are affected. I’ve been very critical not only about how our state has treated Boeing, but all employers in Washington. Even when the Legislature made concessions to Boeing in 2003 to secure the Dreamliner in our state, I also said we should extend those tax relief benefits to all businesses. Unfortunately, very little has been done in the Legislature to make Washington attractive for business.

“Today’s announcement needs to be a wake-up call to our political leaders in Washington to create a more competitive business climate before we lose more employers to other states.”

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EDITOR’S NOTE: State Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, represents the 39th Legislative District, and also serves as chairman of the Washington House Republican Caucus. He can be contacted at (360) 786-7967 or e-mail him and sign up for his e-newsletter at:

Contact: John Sattgast, Senior Information Officer, (360) 786-7257


Washington State House Republican Communications