State-owned China Aviation Supplies announced an order for 260 narrowbody Boeing jets and 40 wide-bodies during President Donald Trump’s visit to China, but the order consists mainly of previous deals, officials with knowledge of the matter said.
For the latest on the Boeing order, see the story China really is Boeing’s biggest market — but Thursday’s order news is fake.
Eager to show he can narrow the trade gap with China and create jobs at home, President Donald Trump on Thursday touted an order for 300 Boeing planes. Yet the bulk of the deal announced in Beijing was old news.
The order, with a list value of $37 billion before customary discounts, consists mostly of previous agreements, officials with knowledge of the matter said. The pact is largely for jets that have been parts of deals since 2013, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.
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It “would have been surprising if something was not announced,” said Will Horton, a Hong Kong-based analyst at CAPA Centre for Aviation. “Three hundred aircraft for China is supermarket shopping, not Costco stockpiling. There will need to be more orders soon.”
Trump’s signing ceremony with Chinese President Xi Jinping underscores the political stakes as the U.S. president seeks to demonstrate his ability to win large contracts for the country’s biggest manufacturers. Most of the roughly 15 agreements in various industries unveiled Thursday are nonbinding deals that could take years to materialize, if they do at all. Last month, Singapore Airlines signed a $13.8 billion Boeing order at a presentation witnessed by Trump and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
State-owned China Aviation Supplies Holding on Thursday announced its order for 260 narrowbody Boeing jets and 40 wide-bodies. Chicago-based Boeing declined to say whether the contracts were new. Its website lists more than 1,000 orders from undisclosed clients. China Aviation Supplies didn’t respond to requests for comment.