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Boeing CEO: US needs to work harder on free trade pacts

Dow Jones Newswires

Boeing CEO: US Needs To Work Harder On Free Trade Pacts

By Ann Keeton

CHICAGO -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. needs to work harder to cement Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, Jim McNerney, chairman and chief executive of Boeing Co. (BA), said in a speech Friday.

The European Union, India, and Canada are making better progress on free trade, he said. Tariffs that Americans pay on exported goods can be eliminated through free trade pacts.

Business and government need to work together to make sure the U.S. remains competitive on a global playing field, McNerney said. Already, Boeing generates 42% of its $68 billion-a-year revenue from outside the U.S., and that percentage is growing in both of its markets: commercial aerospace and defense.

Speaking on global competitiveness, at a forum sponsored by Kellogg School of Management, McNerney cited Boeing’s new 787 commercial plane, which flew for the first time last year, as an example of global innovation. Although the aircraft suffered long production delays, partly related to glitches in a new method of international outsourcing, technology developed for 787 represents "a leap forward" that will serve the commercial airline industry for the next 50 years, McNerney added.

McNerney said Boeing will need to press on with innovation and productivity as new competitors—including those from China, Brazil, Japan and Russia—enter the market for large commercial aircraft. Boeing and Airbus currently dominate that market.

 source: Dow Jones