Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Toray Composites Groundbreaking Ceremony
October 8, 2004
Good morning. I am honored to be here.
On behalf of the people of Washington, I would like to welcome our guests from Japan. We are very pleased that you are able to be here for this important event. I hope you are enjoying your visit to our state.
This is a great day for Toray Composites (America), a great day for Boeing, and a great day for Washington state.
We have worked hard over the past several years to be more business-friendly, and more competitive. The U.S. Census Bureau recently released state rankings for state and local tax burdens. And we ranked 31st. That means 30 states have higher combined state and local taxes. This is the lowest our state has ranked since 1981!
We have also made substantial progress in regulatory reform, cutting red tape, repealing thousands of pages of rules and regulations, streamlining regulatory processes and turning the jargon-ridden legalese of rules and regulations into plain English.
When Boeing chose Washington for final assembly of the 7E7, it was proof that we’re on the right track. We competed nationally for the 7E7 against states known for economic development and business climate. And we won! “Built by Boeing” will continue to mean “Made in Washington by the best aerospace workers in the world.”
Indeed, during the last two years alone, nine national companies have chosen Washington over other Northwest states for major distribution or operations centers. One of those companies even moved its North and South American operations from Colorado to Washington state.
We fought very hard to keep Boeing here because this was about much more than a few thousand new jobs. We protected our aerospace industry—and the nearly 200,000 direct and indirect jobs it provides to our state. Suppliers like Toray are a large part of this industry and those jobs.
We are making sure that building airplanes here in Washington will always be an easy, smart business decision!
And the tax incentives we passed will also benefit the many suppliers and component manufacturers in Washington, like Toray Composites. We want to help companies like Toray to be more competitive in selling to Boeing and other aerospace firms.
Congratulations to Toray Composites (America) on your selection as a supplier to the 7E7 Dreamliner program. The 7E7 is a new airplane for a new world. And it reaffirms Boeing as the innovative, business-focused leader in commercial aerospace. We are very proud to be the home of the Dreamliner. And Toray has a right to be very proud too, as a key member of the world-class team working on this airplane.
We deeply appreciate Toray’s investment in this plant expansion. This will mean more jobs for our state and those new workers will support many other businesses and help create even more jobs! That’s always welcome news!
Despite the lingering recession in our country, recovery in Washington is faster and stronger than the rest of America. Indeed, despite tough economic times, we have created more than 240,000 new jobs in Washington state during the last eight years.
I also encourage Toray Composites (America) to consider further investments in our state. Washington is a great place to work—and a great place to live and raise a family, too. And Washington companies—great companies like Boeing—make great partners.
Again, congratulations to both Toray Composites and Boeing on what promises to be a successful and prosperous partnership.