Boeing Expresses ‘Concerns’ About Escalating Trade Row Between US-China

The escalating US-China trade row could lead to potential damage of business, warned the head of US aerospace and defence giant Boeing.

“Aerospace thrives on free and open trade,” said the company’s chief executive Dennis Muilenburg.

Concerns that costs for aircraft manufacturers could be pushed up were expressed by him.

“The aerospace sector drives economic benefits globally,” he added.

The company intended to locate “alternative solutions” to trade disputes, said Muilenburg, even as both the US and China are continuously imposing more tariffs on each other’s products.

“We are concerned it could affect supply chain costs – but those supply chains are flowing in both directions [between China and the US], it is an intricate network around the world,” he said.

Boeing’s arguments were being listened to by the White House, Muilenburg insisted while talking to the media before the Farnborough Airshow to be held this week.

“We engaged very much with both governments [in China and the US,” he said, “our voice is being heard.” He was hopeful that there would be a “good resolution” to the disputes, adding “our job is to maintain a long-term perspective”.

It is believed that Muilenburg enjoys a warm relationship with the US President Donald Trump.

Tariffs were imposed this month by the US administration earlier this month on Chinese goods worth $34bn (£25.7bn). Equivalent tariffs on US imports, such as pork and soya beans were introduced by China in response.

In what is being considered an escalation of the trade spat, President Trump has now issued a new warning of imposition of new trade tariffs on Chinese goods that would be worth $200 billion. in response, china has said that it would retaliate in kind.

Earlier, a 25 per cent tax on steel and 10 per cent tax on aluminum imported from the EU, Mexico and Canada have also been imposed by the Trump administration as a part of its policy of taxing imported steel and aluminum.

This escalation of tariffs and raising of barriers to free trade has raised fears that these multiple trade disputes would result in stunted growth for the world.

The impact of any of the tariffs announced so far has not yet been felt to any significant degree by Boeing, Muilenburg said. He however warned that “the rhetoric about potential penalty actions are a concern for us”.

Beijing “well understood” the requirement for expansion of their aerospace capability for driving its growth, said Muilenburg while speaking about China.

“We understand their long-term aim to be a global competitor. The idea of co-operation, collaboration and competition in China – this is the business model – it’s not new.”

(Adapted from BBC.com)

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