Wash. state courts Airbus, other European companies at air show

Jun 19, 2013

Washington’s delegation to the Paris Air Show is trying to persuade more European aerospace companies to do business here. They're finding that European companies are receptive, in part because they want to do business in dollars.

Building airplanes in the Eurozone and selling them in dollars can be risky. When the dollar is weak, converting back into Euros means less profit for European companies. So Airbus, and other European aerospace companies are trying to build and buy more parts in the U.S. to hedge their currency risk.

"Don’t underestimate the European companies that want to get into the U.S. market because they want to do business in dollars," said Rep. Rick Larsen, who's leading the state's delegation at the air show.

Larsen met with Allan McArtor, chairman of Airbus Americas. Larsen says reducing currency risk is important to Airbus, but that’s not a competitive advantage for Washington over, say, South Carolina or Alabama. Larsen says that’s where our deep pool of highly skilled workers comes in.

"There may be other states that want to become aerospace states but only one state already has the workforce in place and already has the intellectual and technical knowledge in place so that these companies can start today," Larsen said.

The state announced that a Spanish aerospace company called MTorres will open a new assembly plant in Everett in July. The company wants to supply more parts to Boeing.