• Boeing and the UK: A prosperous partnership

    Sir Michael Arthur, president, Boeing Europe and managing director, Boeing UK and Ireland

    [Note that this content originally appeared on The Times Red Box on Tuesday 3 October 2017 and Politics Home on Wednesday 4 October 2017]

    October 5, 2017

    Boeing is committed to the UK and values the partnership, which stretches back almost 80 years. All of us at the company here in the UK are proud of the excellent support we have provided to the Armed Forces since the 1930s. We remain dedicated to that spirit of service in the future for those that risk everything to keep us safe.  Furthermore, Boeing has doubled our employment here since 2011 and tripled our spending with the UK supply chain over the same period, to £2.1 billion in 2016.  Indeed, approximately 18,700 jobs in this country are at Boeing or in our tier one supply chain.

    In July 2016, Boeing and the UK government announced a long-term initiative for prosperity and growth.  We remain committed to that vision and have begun to deliver on it already. For example, Boeing broke ground for our first factory in Europe, in Sheffield, in September 2017.

    Boeing understands the concerns of the Government about jobs in Northern Ireland.  We share the Government’s commitment to free and fair trade.  Our petition to the International Trade Commission in the United States seeks to restore a level playing field in the U.S. single-aisle aeroplane market. Brazil, in support of its aircraft-maker Embraer, has also raised a case at the World Trade Organisation against Canada and Bombardier in February of this year.   The legal process will play out on this issue.

    Boeing welcomes competition and Bombardier can sell its aircraft anywhere in the world. But sales must be made according to globally-accepted trade rules. We believe that global trade only works if everyone abides by the same rules of the road, and that’s a principle that ultimately creates the greatest value for the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and our respective aerospace industries.

    We have no objection to competition, indeed it makes us better as we strive to continue to improve, to produce the best products and services to win.  But competition must be on a level playing field.  That is what this case is about.  Boeing will continue to defend a level playing field around the world.  These shared values and rules of the road are what will deliver the greatest value to all in our industry, here in the UK and globally.  This is why we have taken the action that we have.  It is the right thing to do.