Boeing chief confident that US will re-authorise ExIm bank

The regional chief of Boeing is confident that policymakers will reauthorise the Export-Import Bank (ExIm), which supports billions of dollars worth of United States foreign trade.

The 81-year-old institution helps to support Boeing exports by financing plane orders from airlines that include Dubai-based Emirates.

Bernard Dunn, the recently-appointed president of Boeing Middle East, said he was confident that the ExIm Bank would be restored after its charter authority was allowed to lapse yesterday, when Congress went into recess without reauthorising it.


Republicans in Congress want to abolish ExIm, while US carriers such as Delta are also opponents because it helps to the fund the aircraft purchases of competitors in the Arabian Gulf and elsewhere.

Last year, the bank financed $27 billion of US exports.

“We believe this is a temporary little speed bump, a little hiccup, and it will be resumed as it was before,” said Mr Dunn in Abu Dhabi. “When Congress comes back in session on July 8, it will be taken up again and we are looking forward for early passage or early funding of the ExIm again.”

UAE airlines are major customers of Boeing’s commercial aircraft. The country is the largest operator of Boeing’s 777 plane. At the 2013 Dubai Airshow, Emirates placed a $76 billion order for Boeing’s 777X aircraft. For the wider Middle East region, Boeing expects to deliver more than 3,000 planes over the next 20 years.

Blocking the bank would represent a major blow to the Seattle-based aircraft manufacturer and a boon for its European rival, Airbus.

“ExIm is the only government economic credit agency operating in the United States with the US government,” said Mr Dunn. “It is a benefit to Boeing, General Electric and other major exporters.”

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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