America

European Giant Airbus Set To Open First American Plant In Alabama

Airbus President & CEO Fabrice Bregier, second from left, shakes hands with Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley as they pose with a model of the A320 Airbus. i i

Airbus President & CEO Fabrice Bregier, second from left, shakes hands with Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley as they pose with a model of the A320 Airbus. Dave Martin/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Dave Martin/AP
Airbus President & CEO Fabrice Bregier, second from left, shakes hands with Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley as they pose with a model of the A320 Airbus.

Airbus President & CEO Fabrice Bregier, second from left, shakes hands with Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley as they pose with a model of the A320 Airbus.

Dave Martin/AP

Airbus, the European aviation giant, announced that it was opening its first assembly plant in the United States.

The AP reports this is a significant and symbolic step in its rivalry with the American Boeing.

The AP adds:

"The French-based company said the Alabama plant is expected to cost $600 million to build and will employ 1,000 people when it reaches full production, likely to be four planes a month by 2017.

"'We are going to create great jobs and generate growth right here,' Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier said at the convention center in Mobile, where many of the 2,000 people in attendance waved American flags as music played in the background."

Reuters reminds us that Boeing and Airbus are involved in one of the longest-running World Trade Organization disputes about government subsidies.

The wire service also reports that this is welcome news for Alabama, a state still struggling after the BP oil spill and recession.

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