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What Lee Moak Learned in Washington

The creation of such a broad coalition "is a great example of how (Moak) has bridged that gap," said Michael Robbins, ALPA director of government affairs. "They have all signed the same letter."

ALPA opposed the long-standing practice by which the U.S. Export/Import Bank enables foreign airlines to secure lower cost aircraft financing than U.S. airlines. Boeing (BA - Get Report), the primary beneficiary, is so powerful in Washington that only ALPA and Delta were willing to speak out. Still, the 2012 Ex/Im Bank reauthorization bill requires, for the first time, public disclosure of financing for foreign airlines' aircraft purchases, giving parties a chance to object. The bill also requires the U.S. Treasury to negotiate with European export credit agencies to end similar discounts by Airbus, so that Boeing would not be disadvantaged if the practice were to end.

Soon after the Ex/Im Bank battle ended, and this demonstrates the ways of Washington, ALPA worked closely with Boeing and others to oppose a requirement for U.S. airlines to contribute to a European carbon-trading effort that would have increased trans-Atlantic airfares by $3.1 billion over the next decade. The money would have gone to the European Union general fund, not necessarily to fighting climate change. Last month, President Obama signed a law prohibiting implementation of the requirement.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed
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