2 years ago11 views
Trump Talk Rattles Aerospace Industry, Up and Down Supply Chain -
CHEHALIS, Wash. — At this small factory south of Seattle, employees make one of the most specialized products
in the aerospace industry: the rubber mats that Boeing workers stand on while assembling jets.
“We’re very vulnerable.”
Companies that sell to Boeing, or sell to other companies
that build Boeing components, said that even predicting a trade war was risky, with so many variables — politics, economics, multiple countries — all in play.
If business costs for Boeing go up as a result, the company — the nation’s single largest exporter by dollar volume — probably
would not be able to raise prices on its airplanes to make up the difference, because then it would lose customers to Airbus.
And if Boeing’s sales or profits suffer, its nerve-system supply chain — more than 13,000 companies across the United States,
and more than 1.5 million jobs — would most likely feel the pain, too.
Since his election, Mr. Trump has tried to pit American aviation companies against one another over the costs of new fighter jets,
and has harshly criticized Boeing’s high price tag for a new Air Force One presidential plane.
“That doesn’t always work.”
The anxiety, said Mr. Bishop, 46, a former deputy county sheriff who voted for Mr. Trump, centers not so much on politics as economics, specifically the intense competition with the
French airplane maker Airbus, which competes toe to toe with Boeing for jet orders in countries around the world in a delicate game of narrow cost differences and giant contracts.