Boeing Co. announced Thursday it had signed a deal with the China Aviation Suppliers Holding Company to sell 300 airplanes. The agreement was signed in Beijing in the presence of President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, where Boeing's representatives were present as part of the U.S. mission to China.
The orders and commitments for single aisle and twin aisle aircraft are valued at $37 billion at list prices, according to the company’s announcement of the agreement. China is expected to require 7,240 aircraft over the next 20 years, by when it will likely account for 18 percent of global aviation trade. The majority of these airplanes are expected to be single aisle.
“China is a valued customer and key partner, and we're proud that Boeing airplanes will be a part of its fleet growth for years to come. Boeing and China have a strong history of working together based on great mutual respect, and these orders build on that foundation," Kevin McAllister, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO, said in the statement.
The company also said it would work with China to reduce the environmental impact of aviation and make the Chinese air transport system more efficient.
Bloomberg reported the purchase will include 260 Boeing 737 narrow-body airplanes and 40 Boeing 787 and Boeing 777 wide-body aircraft. According to Flight Fleets Analyzer, Boeing has received 1,074 passenger aircraft orders from unannounced commercial customers, a majority of which are likely Chinese airlines.
China has now become the biggest commercial customer for the aviation company — one of every four airplanes is being sold to Chinese customers. One in every three Boeing 737s — the company’s most demanded passenger plane — is being sold to Chinese customers.
The total value of new airplanes needed by China over the next 20 years is estimated to be over $1.1 trillion.
Chinese airlines have been signing deals with Aviation companies to fulfill their requirement. During President Jinping’s visit to Berlin this year, French aviation company Airbus SE said it had won a $22 billion order to supply 140 planes to China for 20 wide-body Airbus A350s and 100 narrow-body Airbus A320 aircraft. The company is expected to be in talks to sell A380 superjumbo jets to Chinese airlines.
Boeing itself had signed a $38 billion deal with Chinese carriers in September 2015 to sell 190 single-aisle Boeing 737 airplanes and 50 wide-body jetliners.
The Thursday deal is a part of a larger endeavor on part of President Trump to address the U.S.-China trade deficit. Trump called on China to address unfair trade practices, which have led to a mismatch of benefits from trade between the two nations.
"This relationship is something which we are working very hard to make a fair and reciprocal one. Trade between China and the United States has not been — over the last many many years — a very fair one for us," he reportedly said in Beijing.
In addition to the Boeing deal, General Electronics Co. also reached an agreement Thursday to sell $3.5 billion worth of parts to Chinese companies, including airplane engines.