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Inslee begins effort to secure Boeing's next jet

Ted S. Warren
Associated Press

  Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wants to streamline government permitting and review aerospace incentives in order to help convince Boeing Co. to build its 777X jetliner in the state.

Inslee said Thursday that other strategies that lawmakers need to implement include improving the state's transportation corridors and investing in education and workforce training programs. He added those efforts can help preserve thousands of jobs.

"Today what we are doing is starting for the competition not just for the 777x but for the replacement of the 737. We’re getting ready for that today. We’re thinking long-term," the governor said.

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson said the city has been anticipating the 777X for more than a year. Stephanson will lead a task force to help streamline the permitting process, saying he wants to proactively address any potential hurdles that Boeing may face in expanding its operations.

Washington state passed a package of tax breaks and incentives that totaled about $3 billion 10 years ago to land the 787 Dreamliner production. Those tax breaks last until 2024, but Inslee said state officials planned to reach out to Boeing with other possible incentives. 

"We are going to be talking with Boeing at some point about some of the measures that might allow them to be as competitive as possible. We have done things in the past. We're amenable to talking with them again,” he said. 

South Carolina is competing to win more Boeing business. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley recently signed a $120 million incentive package to help fund Boeing’s expansion.

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In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.