SC competes for Boeing's 777-X design

Published: Nov. 6, 2013 at 11:00 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 6, 2013 at 11:03 PM EST
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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston may lose out on 10,000 new jobs if South Carolina's lawmakers don't act fast.

This week, Boeing announced their plans to consider designing composite wings and 777-X airplanes in the state of Washington, instead of right here in the Lowcountry.

It's a deal that could send thousands of jobs to Puget Sound, Washington and their governor is moving fast to seal the deal, with support from the machinists union.

"If we don't act, inaction is what would cost the state of Washington," said Gov. Inslee, of Washington.

Gov. Inslee has called a special session, asking his lawmakers to approve an incentives deal that includes $8 billion in savings for Boeing.

"It's what we need to secure our entire states economic future," said Gov. Inslee.

Washington lawmakers will be in a special session Thursday. Next week, the union will vote on the deal with Boeing.

Frank Larkin, from the machinists union, says that the vote is very much up in the air.

If union members approve the terms Boeing has laid out for the next eight years, Boeing has agreed to make puget sound the new home of the 777-X.

However, they've got competition from the Holy City.

"The leadership of this state is not going to allow us to end up on the short end," said Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell, of South Carolina.

McConnell says South Carolina's lawmakers are willing to do what it takes to keep the company growing here.

"People say you shouldn't pay incentives because it's picking winners and losers. There are no other winners - there's Boeing," said McConnell.

While McConnell believes South Carolina will make a good offer, he's not worried if Boeing chooses Washington.

"Regardless of the outcome of this one, we're in for more of Boeing here in Charleston," said McConnell.

He's got his hopes set for bigger collaborations including the company's supply chain. McConnell says thats what will really lift South Carolina's economy upward and forward.

Boeing's president and CEO, Ray Conner, has already congratulated the union's representative for being open to a deal.

Conner stated, in part: "...when ratified, will secure and extend thousands of high-wage, high-skilled aerospace jobs and expanded economic opportunity for residents of Puget Sound and Portland for many years to come."

But again, it all depends on the union's vote next week.

Live 5 will keep you up to date on the results.

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