Thinking further on the problems enumerated in the Boeing article by Eamonn Fingleton the recurring theme is government subsidization of Boeing’s competition. A few questions with no palatable answers:
- How can they afford NOT to outsource production to Japan when the government is underwriting the costs?
- How do they handle a competitor (Airbus) who is so heavily supported by local governments?
- What policies can the US government promote that will strengthen Boeing against these problems?
Mr. Fingleton makes a key point… free trade isn’t really free trade when it is one sided. We’ve opened our doors to the world and other governments are essentially “buying” our high-value manufacturing through subsides on their end.
I don’t think direct government subsidies to Boeing is the answer, those never work as intended. How about tax incentives for US manufactured components? Or perhaps trade tariffs on Airbus aircraft to equalize the subsidies that Airbus receives from the various EU and European governments? Any other ideas?