The Fair and Open Skies group (which represents the Big 3 U.S. airlines and airline unions in the prolonged battle against the Big 3 Middle Eastern carriers for travel routes that said U.S. airlines don’t choose to serve) says that U.S. Travel doesn’t have the best interest of U.S. airline workers at heart.
In effect, the U.S. Travel Association is accused of being against the interests of an important sector of the U.S. travel industry, which is really awkward.
Here it is, unedited, in all its Open-Skies-for-some glory:
This week, the U.S. Travel Association will bring industry professionals to Washington, D.C., for their annual meeting. But they won’t be speaking for the whole travel industry because, frankly, they’re missing some key players. U.S. Travel doesn’t represent a single major U.S. airline, yet they have waded deeply into a debate about the future of the U.S. airline industry and its ability to compete fairly. It’s a debate about government-subsidized foreign airlines and the threat they pose to our economy and millions of American jobs. And, despite its name, “U.S. Travel” is taking sides on behalf of foreign interests.
Major U.S. airlines and their employees have joined their European counterparts in calling for the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to stop pouring billions of dollars in subsidies into their state-owned carriers: Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. This massive subsidization is a violation of our trade agreements with these countries and has roiled the global aviation industry, pushing other airlines off existing routes and taking existing passengers away from rule-abiding competitors in Europe, Australia, Asia and now the United States, and costing good U.S. jobs.
The U.S. airline industry is concerned for good reason. But strangely, U.S. Travel is not.
Op-Ed: Trump’s ‘Art of the Deal’: a free-market framework
The Washington Examiner
By Daniel Schneider, Executive Director of the American Conservative Union
March 29, 2017
First question, what’s your favorite burger joint: Five Guys, Red Robin or Burger King? Second question, why is Question #1 of paramount importance today?
When “the butcher, the brewer and the baker,” as Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations, are allowed to compete in the free market and sell their goods at the most competitive prices, we all win with better products and services at the best rates. That is how free-market capitalism and Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” work to make our lives safer, better and more prosperous.
But what happens when capitalism is thwarted, when foreign governments intervene and give huge subsidies to their corporate “beggars” who “depend chiefly upon the benevolence of [their] fellow citizens”? In the long run, we’re all worse off. This was one of the lessons we wanted the millions of our CPAC viewers all over the world to learn a couple of weeks ago. And it is a lesson we want our elected officials to apply as they pursue free and honest trade deals.
NB The Big 3 ME carriers have recently been among the airlines negatively affected by the controversial electronics ban established by the US Government. This ban impacts many of the flights to the U.S. which the U.S. Big 3 say the Big 3 ME are offering in uncompetitive terms because they have unfair government funding to support their operations. The Big 3 U.S. airlines are not affected by this electronics ban because they do not offer flights on these routes.
Leaders in the aviation industry have expressed strong concerns over the effectiveness, purpose, and method of deployment of this ban. Though the UK also imposed an electronics ban, based on security intelligence shared by the U.S., the UK has placed restrictions on different countries and different airlines, not including the Big 3 ME.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed its dismay with the electronics ban this week and urged governments to reconsider the ban in its entirety.
Confused? Join the club. The global travel industry and travelers from every corner of the planet are confused at this point too.
NBBB Adam Smith believed in the free movement of people across borders, with no restrictions emigration, immigration, or competitive employment practices, and felt these were essential to a well-functioning capitalist system.
He was last sighted spinning in his grave.