Obama Backs Boeing in $21.7B Deal; Attends Signing Ceremony, Touts Jobs in Asia Being Found for U.S. Firms

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Byline: Dave Boyer, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

President Obama, seeking to highlight the job-creating potential of his nine-day trip to Asia, attended a signing ceremony Friday for a $21.7 billion deal between Boeing and Indonesia's largest domestic airline.

The White House showcased the agreement for Boeing, which has been locked in a bitter dispute with the Obama administration's National Labor Relations Board over a nonunion plant, as one of the largest trade deals ever between the U.S. and Indonesia.

Boeing will sell 230 of its 737 commercial aircraft to Lion Air, a private airline established in 2000. White House officials said the deal will support more than 110,000 U.S. jobs and parts suppliers in 43 states.

Also during the president's trip, Boeing announced an agreement with Singapore Airlines for the purchase of eight of its 777 wide-body aircraft, a purchase worth $2.4 billion.

The NLRB in April filed a complaint against Boeing, alleging its motive in selecting a South Carolina plant for assembling wide-body 787 Dreamliner aircraft was to retaliate against union workers in Washington state for past strikes.

Boeing has denied the accusation, with CEO Jim McNerney calling the NLRB's action a fundamental assault on the capitalist principles that have sustained America's competitiveness since it became the world's largest economy nearly 140 years ago.

A good deal of Mr. Obama's trip has seemed like an effort to mend fences with the aerospace giant. …