View Header


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 16, 1994



Last year, the government of Saudi Arabia decided to purchase replacement aircraft for its commercial airline, Saudia Airlines. After intense competition between American and European firms, the President announced today that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia intends to purchase the entire replacement fleet from U.S. companies -- Boeing and McDonnell Douglas.

Impact on U.S. Economy and Jobs

This is a gold medal win for American businesses and American workers. The deal will total approximately $6 billion and will support tens of thousands of jobs not only in California and Washington, where the planes will be built, but in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Utah and elsewhere, where Boeing and McDonnell Douglas have extensive operations. In addition, major subcontractors, including United Technologies' Pratt & Whitney division in Connecticut and General Electric in Ohio, will benefit significantly from this order.

For the approximately 100,000 workers who currently work in the Boeing and McDonnell Douglas plants directly affected by this deal, this sale is a vote of confidence in American quality, American workers and American competitiveness. The U.S. aerospace industry is the most competitive in the world and the number one contributor to our trade balance. We export $40 billion in commercial aircraft each year and hold over 60% of the world market.

The United States' future depends on our ability to compete successfully in the international marketplace. Between 1988 and 1992, almost 60% of real growth in the U.S. economy came from export expansion. Every $1 billion in U.S. exports is estimated to create about 20,000 good American jobs -- jobs that pay about 17% more than the average wage.


The National Export Strategy at Work

This sale also is an example of the National Export Strategy at work. Announced on September 29, 1993, the National Export Strategy is a government-wide plan designed to upgrade and coordinate the U.S. Government's export promotion and export finance programs to help U.S. firms compete in the global marketplace.

One of the elements of the National Export Strategy is a commitment by the U.S. Government to marshall its resources in support of American companies competing for overseas contracts -- particularly those contracts that will result in a significant increase in U.S. exports and U.S. jobs.

This deal was made possible both by the personal efforts of senior U.S. officials -- especially Secretaries Brown and Pena -- to promote U.S. exports and by the commitment of the Export- Import Bank to provide export financing. It is an illustration of the Administration's determination to work hard to help Americans thrive in the global economy.

Close Relationship with Saudi Arabia

This purchase continues the strong commercial relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, particularly in the field of civil aviation. It complements the important political and strategic relationship we have and lays the groundwork for further cooperation.

# # #