By MIKE BAKERAssociated Press
SEATTLE (AP) - Even as they try desperately to hang on to Boeing Co., officials in Washington state have been courting the main competitor of the aerospace giant.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that state officials have moved to connect Airbus with Washington suppliers and signed a five-year confidentiality agreement to allow further exploration of business opportunities with the company.
One expert said for years it was generally frowned upon for Washington state officials to jeopardize the relationship with Boeing by seeking ties with Airbus.
However, the recent steps by Washington state came amid tension created when Boeing moved its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago and started an assembly line in South Carolina to build its 787 passenger plane.
Airbus says it has no plans to establish a physical presence in the state but does plan on increasing ties with state suppliers.
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