OPINION

Letter: The case for keeping the skies open

Re: James P. Hoffa’s April 15 Labor Voices column, “When ‘open skies’ means unfair advantage”: Hoffa omits important facts about the critical importance of the bilateral relationship between the United States and the United Arab Emirates and how fruitful this partnership has become for American citizens at large.

Beyond the vital defense and security partnership our two nations share, the U.S. exported some $22 billion dollars in goods and services to the U.A.E. in 2014, making the U.A.E. the largest U.S. export destination in the Middle East (including more than India, Turkey, and Israel) for the last six years running. These massive export numbers mean real jobs for everyday Americans, including those very same workers that the author references. Moreover, the highly unionized American aviation sector is by far the largest beneficiary of this relationship every year. U.A.E. airlines are after all the largest international buyers of American commercial aircraft in the world. In fact, at the 2013 Dubai Air Show, Emirates and Etihad combined air show orders alone supported over 500,000 good-paying U.S. aerospace sector and manufacturing jobs.

Danny Sebright, president,

U.S. – U.A.E. Business Council