The escalating US-China trade war is a cause of concern, said Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg. He however is also of the opinion that there has been some effect of his recent conversations with the Trump administration relation to the tit-for-tat tariffs.
“We do have some challenges around tariffs, trade, we have some concerns there, but the fact is that we have a voice at the table, and we see the administration leaning forward to support us as a business while we deal with the realities of the trade war situation,” Muilenburg sai during a television interview the Boeing factory in Everett, Washington.
The trade spat betwene the US and China has been called as the “biggest trade war in history” by China. after having imposed import tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34 billion, the United States now is planning to impose a second round of tariffs on new Chinese products that would be worth $16 billion starting this month. According to the Trump administration, the tariffs on China is a way to pressuring the second largest economy of the world to refrain from its so called unfair trade practices. China has retaliated with tariffs of its own. Talks are at an impasse.
There is a significant amount of interest for Boeing to see that the trade war between the two nations. The largest exporter of the US, Boeing is also engaged in national security contracts with the US government, building rockets for NASA, and delivering aircraft all over the globe.
“Even on the trade front there’s an understanding that aerospace generates an $80 billion per year trade surplus for the US,” Muilenburg said. “We may not agree on everything, and we engage with both sides of the aisle, we engage with governments around the world,” he said.
It is expected that China would overtake the US as the largest aviation market primarily because of the growth in the domestic travel in the country and it is also expected by Boeing that thousands of new airplanes would be purchased by the airlines of that country to meet the demand which would be worth nearly $1.1 trillion over the next 20 years.
The strategy of building a factory southeast of Shanghai by Boeing has been criticized by Trump. The Chinese factory would be used for assembling planes fop the Chinese market.
Trump said Boeing should build the planes in the United States and ship them abroad, instead. There would be a boost to production in the United States and more jobs would be created by Boeing’s factory in China, Muilenburg said.
“I think the difference is the structure of the aerospace business,” he said. “So, our business grows in the US when we invest in factory capacity outside the US,” he said.
He added that he’s had “very good conversations” on this topic directly with Trump.
(Adapted from Money.CNN.com)