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Brooke Sutherland

China’s Boeing Threat Has More Bite Than Bark

A country that always favors the home team.

Competition is coming.

Competition is coming.

Photographer: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg

The trade war may finally start to bite for Boeing Co.

The aerospace giant is the only non-consumer, non-tech U.S. company that gets more than $5 billion of revenue from China, and as such, it was initially assumed to be among companies that would be most affected by trade tensions. So far, however, the impact from tariff crossfire has been rather limited. That may have been a reflection of China’s need for Boeing orders in the short term to support local airlines and an inclination to maintain a balance between the U.S. planemaker and its European counterpart, Airbus SE. An eagerness to ensure Boeing’s ongoing participation at an assembly center outside of Shanghai that’s co-owned by Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (known as Comac) and an important part of the country’s strategy to build a homegrown aviation industry could have been another factor.