American government officials accused the Chinese government of interfering with Boeing’s efforts to sell “tens of billions of dollars” worth of planes to Chinese domestic airlines, as reported by Breitbart.
The accusations were made on Tuesday by Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo during a press conference. “I don’t know if Boeing is here,” Raimondo said. “There’s tens of billions of dollars of planes that Chinese airlines want to buy, but the Chinese government is standing in the way,”
Raimondo later backtracked on her remarks in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), and instead claimed that the purchases in question were only worth tens of millions, instead of billions. But nevertheless, she insisted that “Chinese airlines have purchases for tens of millions of dollars of Boeing airplanes, and the Chinese government is holding that up.”
Raimondo also pointed out to NPR that, by actively blocking these deals, China is “not respecting intellectual property [IP] and stealing IP of American companies. They’re putting up all kinds of different barriers for American companies to do business in China.” These actions, she claims, are in violation of a trade deal that was negotiated between the Chinese government and the United States government in 2020 under the Trump Administration.
Although Boeing is an American company, the aerospace technology giant relies on China for up to 25 percent of its total global purchases, specifically with regards to aircraft orders.
In March, Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun said that “we cannot afford to be locked out of that market,” and that he remained hopeful that “we can sort of separate intellectual property, human rights, and other things from trade, and continue to encourage a free trade environment between these two economic juggernauts.”
Boeing’s most recent estimates indicate that Chinese airlines will need up to 8,700 new airplanes up through the year 2040, at a total cost of about $1.47 trillion. As Reuters reports, this is due to the fact that the “airfreight market has become a bright spot for Boeing in China, as e-commerce demand booms.”