The nose of the 500th 787 Dreamliner at the assembly plant in Everett on Sept. 21, 2016. (Kevin Clark / Herald, file)

The nose of the 500th 787 Dreamliner at the assembly plant in Everett on Sept. 21, 2016. (Kevin Clark / Herald, file)

State asking Boeing what will keep 787 production in Everett

Closing that production line could cost thousands of local jobs.

By Jim Camden / The Spokesman-Review

OLYMPIA — Washington officials are asking the state’s largest manufacturer what it can do to keep the 787 jetliner production line from moving to South Carolina, Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday.

So far, the Boeing Co. hasn’t offered any suggestions, although it has told state officials no decision on such a move has been made, Inslee said during a news conference. The company has said it is looking at the data and will continue to talk.

Boeing currently builds its 787 Dreamliner in Everett and Charleston, South Carolina, but Reuters reported earlier this week the company is considering closing the Everett line. Closing that production line in Everett could cost thousands of jobs.

“We are intent on continuing to make a case that this is the best place to make airplanes — has been, probably always will be,” Inslee said. “Unfortunately the Boeing Company has not offered us suggestions in this regard … We’ll continue to ask.”

The Legislature approved about $3.2 billion in tax relief for aerospace companies in 2003 to ensure the 787 would be built in Washington. Asked if officials have told Boeing what the state would do about those tax breaks if production was pulled out of Washington, Inslee replied:

“We have not discussed any action by the state of Washington pending their decision.”

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