Boeing Co chief executive officer Jim McNerney said the US government should work on breaking down global trade barriers to help US businesses compete and hire more workers.
“We all benefit from more trade,” McNerney said during a forum at the Hilton Chicago sponsored by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Boeing cut 9,300 jobs last year and the company yesterday told more than 1,000 employees that their positions would be terminated as of April 23. The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance unexpectedly increased last week, pointing to an uneven recovery in the labor market.
McNerney, who attended a jobs summit at the White House in December, said any jobs plan should focus on education, taxes and trade policy. He urged US President Barack Obama to lock down trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia as US competitors move forward with their own pacts.
“We need the government’s help to both break down trade barriers and enforce international agreements,” he said.
McNerney also emphasized the importance of innovation and education to US companies operating in the global marketplace. Chicago-based Boeing employs almost 160,000 people and some of the jobs wouldn’t exist if the company wasn’t internationally competitive, he said.
“We are a high-tech exporter,” he said.
McNerney said Boeing must continue to focus on innovation and productivity to stay ahead of Chinese competition. China is the world’s fastest-growing air-travel market and the 168-seat C919, built by a state-controlled company, is expected to make its maiden flight in 2012.
“We now can make airplanes in a way that no one else can make them,” he said. “That will be relevant for the next 50 or 60 years.”
He said Boeing “stumbled some” on the development of the 787 and the 747-8 and said other new programs, such as a version of the F/A-18 that allows for electronic jamming, have been successes. The company also has reached targets on its P-8 program, a customized 737 to be used by the US Navy for maritime patrol, he said.
“We hit more new product milestones last year than any time in our history,” McNerney said.
About half of the 1,000 layoffs announced today are for workers based in the company’s Seattle-area manufacturing hub, and most of the notices went to engineers and information- technology employees, spokesman Tim Healy said.
McNerney has said the company would exceed the target of 10,000 job cuts that wasn’t quite reached last year. Healy said there’s no specific goal for 2010 employment and that it could increase in the first half and then decline later this year as development programs — the 787 Dreamliner and the 747-8 jumbo jet — enter production.
“This year it’s much more of a return to making sure our staffing meets our needs, whereas last year the reductions were closely linked to what was going on with the economy,” Healy said yesterday.
SELF-SUFFICIENCY: Alibaba is one of a number of Chinese firms that has answered Beijing’s call to invest in the development of cutting-edge technologies Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) yesterday unveiled a new server chip that is based on advanced 5-nanometer technology, marking a milestone in China’s pursuit of semiconductor self-sufficiency. The Chinese tech giant’s newest chip is based on micro-architecture provided by the SoftBank Group Corp-owned Arm Ltd, it said. Alibaba, which is holding its annual cloud summit in Hangzhou, China, said that the chip is to be used in its own data centers in the “near future” and would not, for the time being, be sold commercially. “Customizing our own server chips is consistent with our ongoing efforts toward boosting our computing capabilities with better
‘SHORT-TERM ECONOMIC PAIN’: A military takeover would only temporarily weigh on wafer production on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, IC Insights said Taiwan has more chip manufacturing capacity than any other economy in the world, US-based market information advisory firm IC Insights said in a research paper last week, cautioning that the nation’s strength could prompt China to attempt to take over Taiwan. Taiwan commanded 21.4 percent of global installed IC capacity, ahead of South Korea’s 20.4 percent, Japan’s 15.8 percent and China’s 15.3 percent, North America’s 12.6 percent and Europe’s 5.7 percent, IC Insights said. Taiwan is one of two countries that uses 10-nanometer technology or better to produce wafers, holding 62.8 percent of global capacity, with South Korea holding the remaining 37.2
AGGRESSIVE STEP: With the new processors, Apple is aiming at the high-end chips Intel has provided for the MacBook Pro and other top-end Macs for about 15 years Apple Inc on Monday took the most aggressive step yet to strip Intel Corp chips from its computers, announcing more powerful homegrown Mac processors alongside a total revamp of its MacBook Pro laptop computers. The company showcased the chips at an event called “Unleashed,” which also included its latest audio products. The new components, called the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, are 70 percent faster than its M1 predecessors, Apple said. It also unveiled a redesigned MacBook Pro, adding larger screens, MagSafe charging and better resolution. With the new processors and devices, Apple is aiming squarely at the high-end chips that Intel has
PRICE SPREAD: Oil trading under the Brent futures contract is giving the US a hefty edge in pricing, increasing the rush to secure cheap fuel as winter approaches Asian demand for US oil is rising as the energy crisis boosts prices for other crudes that are priced against the global Brent futures contract. China and other Asian buyers have been snapping up supertankers of US oil for delivery next month and seeking more for December, some traders have said. Most buyers are seeking US grades that had recently slumped to the lowest levels in more than a year, with an added incentive after Beijing awarded millions of tonnes of crude oil import quotas. A wide spread between Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil futures is accommodating higher US crude