Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said he would have grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane sooner if he were president.
The US was one of the last countries to ground the aircraft after the fatal plane crash in Ethiopia in March. Facing mounting pressure, President Trump ordered his administration to ground the planes, following the crash.
Inslee said it's been difficult for employees at Boeing, which is based in Washington.
"This has been a painful thing for the people who make these airplanes. But I have to tell you, I would have grounded these jets much sooner. And don't hold me totally to this because I didn't have all of the briefing. But I would have been given serious consideration to grounding them after the first loss," he said.
It was the second time in less than six months that this model crashed soon after takeoff. A new Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 flight went down in October over the Java Sea off Indonesia, killing 189 people.
He also said he regrets the fact that Boeing is able to threaten the state.
"Boeing should not have been able to threaten the state of Washington to move 20,000 jobs out of our community," he said. "We're the best place to make airplanes and have been for many decades. But they threatened my state and 20,000 jobs unless they got certain tax benefits. I liken that as kind of extortion in a sense. I don't think that's right. I think we should be protected from that type of behavior."