Plane-building history cited in state’s 777X pitch

By Dan Catchpole and Jerry Cornfield Herald Writers

The best argument for the Boeing Co. to build the 777X in Washington is the state’s long history of building planes for the aerospace giant.

That’s the thrust of the proposal Washington submitted in December as Boeing considered where it would manufacture its next-generation widebody jetliner. The state Department of Commerce released the 163-page proposal Wednesday.

The document doesn’t include any surprises. Rather, it highlights the state’s competitive advantages. Those include a skilled workforce and low energy costs, and what state leaders have done to help Boeing, including passing an incentive package last November worth an estimated $8.7 billion.

The proposal was submitted in December as part of Boeing’s nationwide search for potential 777X production sites after the Machinists union rejected a company contract proposal. In all, 22 states pitched 54 sites.

Washington’s proposal does say the state “will fund a bipartisan and comprehensive package of significant transportation improvements.”

The document also says the state will work with Boeing to lower payroll costs.

“The governor has committed that the state will not adopt (water) regulations that fail to meet the dual objectives of increased human health protection and a thriving economic climate for existing and new business,” according to the document.