On the back of recent media coverage of President-elect Trump’s recent boasts of having struck a deal with the Indiana company, Carrier, that would prevent an exportation of 1,800 jobs to Mexico — a move which some observed only gave American companies a road map into how to receive extra tax breaks and incentives — I read with interest a story about Iran signing a record $16.6 billion dollar deal with Boeing for 80 737 and 777 model aircraft. Iran is also in the final stages of sealing a deal with Airbus as well, for another 118 aircraft.
Under sanctions for decades, Iran has long employed the use of improvised parts or those that have been smuggled into their country. Now, with the lifting of these sanctions, they are now in a position — and are anxious — to replace their aging fleet of aircraft.
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives who opposed lifting of the Iranian sanctions, recently passed a bill limiting financial transactions by U.S. banks in an effort to derail the Boeing deal. Boeing and others are working on alternative financing efforts, some still not yet in play. But, because this is a 10-year deal, some exporting licenses may need to be extended during President-elect Trump’s term. So, the question begs itself … what will this Administration do or not do? Do they renew the licenses necessary to promote U.S. business? After all, the promotion of U.S. businesses was a key talking point in the Trump campaign on more than one occasion. Or, do the license renewals meet with repeated delays in an effort to stall the deal indefinitely — something that makes a strong political statement to the Democrats and to Iran?
Of key importance here was Boeing’s recent statement that completing this 10-year deal supports “tens of thousands of U.S. jobs for the 777-300ER jets and nearly 100,000 aerospace jobs for the whole package.”
Who will show up when the time comes? The vindictive Donald Trump or the benevolent one? The one that seizes the opportunity to trounce on Iran, or the one that sees the wisdom of promoting U.S. business abroad?
Trust me when I say this won’t be the last time we will be asking this question in the days, weeks, and months to come.
(Thanks to Tim Hepher and Sami Aboudi at Rueters.com for a provocative article.)
Note: Chapters 11 and 12 of Serenity: Full Circle posted earlier today. See side bar to the left to catch up!