February 02, 2009

China 1 Wales 0 in Airbus Deal?

In the presence of the Chinese and UK Prime Ministers, Airbus and Xi'An Aircraft (division of the AVIC conglomerate) signed today a new deal to move final assembly and testing of A320 wings to the new factory in Tianjin. According to EADS (Airbus parent) the A320 wing will now be 'fully completed and tested' in China.

This development seems to contradict the prediction last year by the MP for Broughton, Flintside in Wales (just south of Liverpool) that the new Chinese Airbus assembly plant would not affect jobs in his district. Broughton is home to an Airbus plant that had sole monopoloy on final wing assembly. The plant is the largest industrial employer in Wales. MP Mark Tami had said that wings would still be shipped to Broughton from Tianjin for final assembly and testing. Now it appears all that will occur in China. How does this impact the 7,000 or so jobs in Broughton?

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