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Boeing looking to move key operations to other countries

30 July 2015

Boeing Co chairman Jim McNerneyBoeing Co chairman Jim McNerney yesterday said the aircraft maker was actively looking to move "key pieces" of its operations to other countries given uncertainty about the future of the US Export-Import Bank, whose charter expired on 30 June.

"We are now forced to think about this differently," McNerney told hundreds of executives and diplomats during an interview hosted by the Economic Club of Washington.

According to McNerney, who retired as the company's chief executive on 1 July, the aircraft maker might consider looking to countries that offered export credits, but he did not give details about which operations could be affected or when the company had launched its review.

The International Association of Machinists District 751, representing over 30,000 Boeing workers, slammed McNerney's threat to move jobs overseas.

"The only Boeing job that should leave this country is his," Reuters reported Jon Holden, president, Machinists District 751, Boeing's largest union, as saying.

The largest US exporter, Boeing has a workforce 165,000 strong.

Dan Holler, spokesman for Heritage Action for America, a sister organisation of the Heritage Foundation that promotes conservative policy and is one of the most vocal critics of the Exim Bank said the company's fear mongering undermined the company's remarkable products and it would not win converts in Congress.

''We love making and designing airplanes in the United States, but we are now forced to think about doing it differently,'' McNerney said.

With Congress failing to renew the federal document, the Senate voted 64-29 on Monday to add an amendment to a highway bill that was being considered for the bank's revival.

''I'm more worried about it today than I ever have [been],'' McNerney said. ''It has been a wildly successful program because what it does is it isolates the quality of the technology being sold and gets off the table all the shenanigans that people could do financially.

''But all the politics associated with the extremists of both parties, particularly the Republican Party, is preventing this thing from getting to a vote,'' he said.

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