Does the aircraft manufacturer require emergency funds?




With seven words loosely written in the $ 2 trillion federal stimulus law, Congress created a special provision for Boeing, one of the country’s largest manufacturers.

Boeing is not mentioned by name in the 880-page bill. But the aerospace giant will benefit from up to $ 17 billion in taxpayer relief thanks to the language used in the fourth paragraph on page 513 of the CARES law: “businesses essential to maintaining national security “

Does Boeing Need or Deserve Taxpayer Help?

For critics, the answer is a flat no. They note that the company has $ 24 billion in cash and has been the source of harsh criticism for its actions in the 737 Max crisis, which swept the company long before the new coronavirus pandemic.

But proponents argue that help may be needed to prevent Boeing from faltering and trigger overwhelming job losses in the company and its vast network of suppliers – and to maintain its role in national defense as the main contractor. military. Boeing had approximately 161,100 employees as of December 31.

Critics of a bailout include former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, who has resigned of the Boeing board of directors in protest.

“While I know that cash is limited, this is also true for many other industries and for millions of small businesses,” Haley said in his letter of resignation. “I cannot support a decision to rely on the federal government for a stimulus or bailout that prioritizes our business over others and relies on taxpayers to secure our finances. I have long been firmly convinced that this is not the role of government. “

Haley declined to comment further on this story.

President Donald Trump, however, rose from criticism of Boeing in January as a “disappointing” venture – and targeting the company even before its inauguration on the cost of Air Force One planes – to support the company’s bailout, claiming that it is essential to “protect” it.

Requested on March 26 While it was appropriate to give Boeing billions of dollars from the stimulus package, Trump has said that air travel is “a very difficult business” that must be sustained.

Trump said, “Maybe we will take a piece of the airlines for the country” as part of their bailouts. It was not immediately clear whether he would approve a similar approach with Boeing.

The skepticism of a Boeing bailout is not without precedent. The bailouts of banks and automakers during the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 sparked outrage among critics who said the government should not intervene to save businesses that failed because of their own fakes. not.


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