DARWIN, Australia — As President Barack Obama arrived in Bali, Indonesia, for two international summits, the White House on Thursday announced trade deals amounting to tens of billions of dollars for U.S. companies to sell aircraft and machinery to the Asia-Pacific region.
Since the president embarked on his international trip late last week, he’s repeatedly stressed that the growing region is key to U.S. economic development and job creation.
While at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Honolulu over the weekend, the president said it’s his ultimate goal to create a “seamless regional economy” in the Pacific. The region, he said, is “a top priority because we’re not going to be able to put our folks back to work and grow our economy and expand opportunity unless the Asia Pacific region is also successful.”
U.S. companies - including Boeing, GE and Sikorsky Helicopters - have reached deals totaling than $25 billion in value — plus the potential for another $14 billion — to sell equipment to Asian airlines and to the government of Brunei. In all, these deals are expected to support 127,000 jobs, the administration said.
“These high-value, historic deals are good for the American companies who will export and for the thousands of suppliers who will contribute to the end product,” the White House said in a statement. “These cross-border collaborations, both public and private, underpin the expanding strategic partnership between the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific, contributing to economic growth and development.”
The biggest deal being announced is one that Boeing has reached with Indonesia-based Lion Air to sell 230 airplanes — two versions of the 737 — at a list price of $21.7 billion. The purchase, which the White House said is “the largest commercial airplane agreement ever for Boeing,” is estimated to support more than 110,000 jobs at Boeing and at suppliers in 43 states. The agreement also includes options for another 150 planes for $14 billion.
Boeing has reached a second major deal, one with Singapore Airlines, worth $2.4 billion for the sale of eight 777-300ER widebody aircraft. It’s expected to support 11,000 jobs.
GE has reached a $1.3 billion deal to sell CFM56 engines to Garuda Airlines of Indonesia. Half of that money will be in U.S. exports and will support 5,000 jobs at GE facilities in Ohio and North Carolina, and at suppliers.
The Brunei Ministry of Defense has agreed to buy $325 million worth of Blackhawk helicopters from Sikorsky. The deal includes U.S. exports totaling $200 million and will support about 1,100 jobs. There’s also an option to double the purchase.
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