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Boeing Executive Mum on Missouri’s Chances in 777X Bid

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Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - With 8,000 jobs on the line, Boeing is evaluating where to build its 777X commercial jetliner but a top Boeing executive is ducking questions on the matter.

George Roman, Boeing’s Vice President of State and Local Government Operations, was asked about the odds of 777X production occurring in north St. Louis County.

“It’s not fair for me to speculate at all because I really don’t know. If I knew the answer, I would tell you,” he said. “Everyone’s given a fair opportunity to participate in this thing.”

Last week, the St. Louis County Council unanimously approved a resolution to support $1.8 billion in tax incentives if Boeing were to come St. Louis for production of its new jetliner. Those tax breaks are in addition to $1.7 billion offered by a special session of the state legislature.

Gov. Jay Nixon says the $3.5 billion package puts Missouri near the top of the list but Roman wouldn’t say if that is true.

“I really can’t say because I haven’t seen what everybody else has done and what I’m trying to explain to you is, for a reason, guys like me are not a part of the evaluation,” he said. “So I’m not going to speculate on what an evaluation team is doing for this company and how it affects 25 other states. It’s just not fair.”

Roman says 22 states are vying for the job, proposing 54 sites to build the plane. A decision is expected next month.

“The group that’s evaluating this is really walled off inside the company. It’s done for a reason, so every state has a fair, level playing field on this,” he added.

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