You probably didn’t notice that a major U.S. manufacturing company, Boeing, gave away the store the other day.
After a century or so of producing planes in America, the company has agreed to build its first offshore facility in China, which figures to be a huge market for planes in decades to come.
The Boeing news is linked to uncertainty surrounding the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a favorite target of congressional conservatives trying to prove they are tough on corporate welfare. (Prediction: All the talk will be forgotten after the 2016 campaign season and the Ex-Im Bank will be revived, rested and ready to go.)
From Forbes: “The relationship with China is likely to grow over time, because China, like Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and every other industrialized company (except now the U.S.) assists plane exporters in securing financing.”
(In fairness, the writer, Loren Thompson, does disclose in the article that Boeing contributes to his think tank.)
China is juiced about this deal, in which a state-controlled company will install interiors and paint exteriors of single-aisle planes assembled at the main Boeing facility in Renton, Washington.
A win-win, right? Not in the long run. This is where the giving away the store comes in.
The Chinese don’t invent much, but their hobby is keeping up on the latest technology in every field. Boeing makes the most advanced and expensive planes in the world and has agreed to send its intellectual property to a foreign power for studying and reverse engineering. Eventually, China will manufacture that same technology and peddle it to the world at a lower price.
I have no dog in this hunt. But pity folks with grandchildren.