WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today released a statement following the State Department’s announcement that it will increase transparency and take steps to ensure Middle East airline carriers aren’t unfairly helped through government subsidies compared to U.S. carriers.   

“Open Skies agreements are good for consumers and good for American workers, but poor enforcement has allowed state-owned airlines to use government subsidies to hurt the U.S. airline industry. I’m hopeful that these new steps will enhance transparency and promote competition, but there’s still more to do. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure U.S. airlines and workers have a level playing field on which to compete in the global market.”

In March, Klobuchar led a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao expressing concerns regarding the billions of dollars in subsidies that the Governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have given their state-owned airlines, distorting the international air transport market and violating bilateral Open Skies agreements. In June 2015, Klobuchar also led a bipartisan group of 21 Senators to call on Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary of Transportation Foxx urging them to enforce Open Skies agreements.