Inslee won’t attend Paris Air Show, Larsen to stand in

With a shutdown of state government looming, Gov. Jay Inslee announced today he won’t be traveling to Paris next week to hawk Washington’s aerospace industry.

The governor was due to leave Friday for the Paris Air Show, a signature event for the world’s aerospace industry which begins Monday.

But he had to cancel the plans to focus on reaching agreement with legislators on a new state budget before July 1 when the new fiscal year begins. Failure to strike a deal before then could result in a widespread shutdown of public services.

Inslee planned to lead a delegation of 52 aerospace executives, educators and economic development professionals. He intended to meet with officials of the Boeing Co. and high-ranking executives of more than two dozen other companies.

At Inslee’s request, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., will lead the state’s contingent.

“I am disappointed I will not be able to join the delegation on this trade mission as we make the case that Washington is the best place for aerospace manufacturers and suppliers,” Inslee said in a statement. “We are fortunate that Congressman Larsen, a longtime champion of the industry and a leader in international trade policy, agreed to my request and will step in to lead the delegation.”

Larsen represents the 2nd Congressional District which is home to Boeing’s Everett facility. He is the ranking Democrat on the House Aviation Subcommittee.

“Washington is the aerospace capital of the world, and next week we are going to work hard to keep it that way,” Larsen said in a statement.

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