In the three months since Donald Trump was elected president, no corporate executive has interacted more with him than Boeing Chairman & CEO Dennis Muilenburg. Trump apparently has concluded that the nation’s biggest exporter is a model for how he would like other U.S. manufacturers to behave. And with good reason: in 2016, for the fifth consecutive year, Boeing delivered more jetliners than Airbus without the benefit of government subsidies that its European rival receives. In addition to the 748 commercial transports Boeing built, its defense unit delivered 178 military aircraft to domestic and foreign customers, continued selling the world’s highest-capacity communications satellites, and made steady progress on a new space launch system that will one day carry U.S. astronauts to Mars. It isn’t hard to see why Boeing is the world’s biggest aerospace company. But what probably appeals to President Trump the most is that Boeing assembles all of its signature products in America using U.S. workers and a supply chain that is over 80% domestic. If companies in other industrial sectors did the same, the U.S. economy would be growing a lot faster. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
Loren B. Thompson is Senior Adviser of GPI , Chief Operating Officer of the non-profit Lexington Institute and Chief Executive Officer of Source Associates, a for-profit consultancy. Prior to holding his present positions, he was Deputy Director of the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and taught graduate-level courses in strategy, technology and media affairs at Georgetown. He has also taught at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Thompson holds doctoral and masters degrees in government from Georgetown University and a bachelor of science degree in political science from Northeastern University.
The views and opinions expressed in this issue brief are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policy of GPI.