UPDATE 2-Boeing says loss of Ex-Im Bank would be competitive disadvantage
(Adds comments from another Boeing executive)
By Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON, July 6 (Reuters) - Loss of U.S. Export-Import Bank financing would put Boeing Co at a "huge competitive disadvantage" since its rivals still have access to such financing support, the head of the company's commercial aircraft division told reporters on Monday.
Ray Conner, president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said the planemaker was seeking to reassure its customers that the U.S. Congress would soon reauthorize the bank's charter, but said the lapse of the charter at the end of last month created some doubt.
"We absolutely need Ex-Im Bank to compete on a level playing field," Conner said after a ceremony marking delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner to Vietnam Airlines, an aircraft that was purchased with the help of Ex-Im financing.
Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Vietnamese Communist party, attended the ceremony at Ronald Reagan National Airport, along with 200 other U.S. and Vietnamese officials and industry executives.
"To not have that, we're just tying one hand behind our back, as far as I'm concerned," Conner said. "The competition is not going to back away from that kind of financing."
John Wojick, Boeing senior vice president for global sales and marketing, said Europe's Airbus, Brazil's Embraer SA and China's aircraft makers had access to trade credits to help finance their sales.
Conner said some rivals were capitalizing on the situation by highlighting uncertainty about whether Boeing's customers would have access to trade credits in the future. Continuación...