JetBlue, Delta and American Airlines aircraft are seen at Boston Logan International Airport on April 13, 2015. (Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Jeremy Dwyer- Lindgren, Jeremy Dw)

WASHINGTON – The Senate ruled out a provision before pbading the tax legislation early Saturday that would have cost foreign airlines from countries that receive few flights in the US. UU Estimated at $ 200 million over the next decade.

The provision added in the Finance Committee was affected by the final version of the 479-page bill, which the Senate approved with a vote of 51-49.

Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Republican from Georgia, had said that the two-page provision was intended to protect airline workers in their state from unfair competition. The provision did not mention the target airlines, but the definition conforms to three Middle Eastern airlines that have been criticized for years by American rivals, including Delta Air Lines based in Atlanta.

Critics of the provision said when it was added that it would have penalized airlines in 14 countries, instead of just three state-owned airlines in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar: Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. An international group of airlines warned that the provision could cause other governments around the world to attack the airlines with new taxes.

"The precedent that would establish the provision of Isakson, if enacted, would be atrocious and could easily return to bite American airlines, such as the shark in Shark " John Byerly, a former official of the Department State that negotiated aviation agreements called Open Skies agreements with other countries, said before the disposition was eliminated.

Jonathan Grella, executive vice president of the United States Travel Association, an industry defense group, said on Saturday that the Senate's decision to abandon the provision was the most significant moment in a three-year dispute between US and Middle Eastern airlines.

"A half measure I could" "I have impacted both the tax reform and the trips that were recklessly thrown into the Senate's lap, and wisely eliminated," said Grella. "Travel, commerce, commerce and diplomacy are better for the good work of the Senate."

The version of the Senate bill has yet to be reconciled with the House, which did not have a provision intended for foreign airlines, to become law.

More on the tax bill and the dispute between US and foreign airlines:

These key provisions of the Senate tax law may be a difficult sale at home

US CEOs of airlines: Europe made an "error" in the access of the Gulf operator

Airline and travel executives clash for subsidy complaints

& # 39 Scandalous & # 39 ;: the CEO of Emirates says that the airline is not subsidized

countries of origin. Isakson's provision would have eliminated that exemption for foreign airlines flying to the US. UU If their countries of origin receive less than two weekly arrivals and departures from US airlines.

It is expected that the provision will cost foreign airlines $ 200 million in 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

The tax provision came almost three years after the three largest US airlines. UU Delta, US and US formally asked the government to block more flights from Middle East rivals and reopen the open skies negotiations with the UAE and Qatar. [19659006] US airlines UU They have argued that Middle East operators received more than $ 50 billion in a decade in government subsidies, which those airlines denied. In response, foreign airlines have argued that US airlines received benefits from the bankruptcy law and the government they do not receive.

The Obama administration refused to reopen talks after the State, Transportation and Commerce departments reviewed the airline's complaint, and the Trump administration has not yet taken action.

The International Air Transport Association, a business group representing 275 airlines, said the tax provision could have hampered the uninterrupted travel provided by a single ticket because governments cooperate in regulations that include taxes.

"If enacted, Isakson's provision would revoke decades of precedent – which the United States has long supported – in the taxation of international aviation," said Perry Flint, spokesman for the airline group. "Foreign governments, even those that are not directly affected by the proposed language, may be tempted to follow the example of the United States and impose reciprocal taxes."

A defense group representing airlines such as Hawaiian, JetBlue, FedEx and Atlas Air, which supports Open Skies agreements with Middle Eastern operators, said before the tax provision that would have hurt the airlines was eliminated. airlines in 14 countries, including Jordan, Ethiopia and Malaysia.

"This is another tricky attempt by Delta to protect itself from competition and bypbad the established Department of Transportation process to review claims for legitimate subsidies," said Andrea Christianson, spokesperson for the US Airlines coalition for Open Skies.

Delta declined to comment on the provision of taxes.

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