U.S. airlines are hoping to bypass Congress, regulators and other high-level administration officials and take their Gulf Carrier subsidy argument directly to President Donald Trump.
Let’s start with the video. Take 30-seconds to watch this:
The video starts with President Trump promising, “We will stand up to trade cheating anywhere and everywhere it threatens the American job.”
Then, a narrator ominously warns:
Now, 1.2 million jobs and the U.S. airline industry are at risk because mideast carriers pump billions in illegal subsidies into their airlines.
I’m not going to rehash the argument again. Please see my previous article on Gulf Carrier subsidies to understand why this is such a disingenuous and misleading argument.
The narrator continues:
President Trump took action to stop the trade cheating, but Qatar continues to break the rules.
Translation: they’re mocking you Mr. President and the United States. Are you going to let that happen?
Hoping they will prevail, the ad thanks President Trump in advance.
Thank you President Trump. America’s airline workers are counting on you to enforce our trade agreements.
What This Ad Is Really About
This ad is about Air Italy, an airline that is not named in the commercial. Goliath U.S. airlines fear little David. Air Italy operates to four U.S. cities and will be reducing service this winter due to lower demand than expected. Even so, U.S. airlines have targeted Air Italy because the carrier offers an excellent product that is seen as more threatening than the long list of other state-subsidized carriers that are actually accepting state-backed subsidies.
I have to give American, Delta, and United credit. They should play this ad a few times during Fox & Friends and it may well be the best advertising money ever spent.
But in terms of properly classifying the debate, it is just another misleading ad from the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies.