U.S. weighs blocking GE engine sales for China’s new airplane: sources

Karen Freifeld, Alexandra Alper

February 16, 2020 / 4:48 AM / Updated an hour ago

(Reuters) – The U.S. government is considering whether to stop General Electric Co from continuing to supply engines for a new Chinese passenger jet, according to people familiar with the matter, casting uncertainty over China’s efforts to enter the civil aviation market.

FILE PHOTO: China’s home-grown C919 passenger jet taxis after landing on its maiden flight at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China May 5, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

The potential restriction on the engine sales – possibly along with limits on other components for Chinese commercial aircraft such as flight control systems made by Honeywell International Inc – is the latest move in the battle between the world’s two largest economies over trade and technology.

The issue is expected to come up at an interagency meeting about how strictly to limit exports of U.S. technology to China on Thursday and at another meeting with members of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet set for Feb. 28, sources said.

The White House and the U.S. Commerce Department, which issues licenses for such exports, declined to comment, as did a GE spokeswoman. The departments of Defense, State, Energy and Treasury did not respond to requests for comment.

For years, the United States has supported American companies’ business with China’s budding civil aviation industry.

The government has provided licenses that allow those companies to sell engines, flight control systems and other components for China’s first large commercial aircraft, the COMAC C919. The narrow-body jet has already engaged in test flights and is expected to go into service next year. COMAC is an acronym for Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd [CMAFC.UL].

But the Trump administration is weighing whether to deny GE’s latest license request to provide the CFM LEAP-1C engine for the C919, people familiar with the matter said, though GE has received licenses for the LEAP engines since 2014 and was last granted one in March 2019.

The CFM LEAP engine is a joint venture between GE and France’s Safran Aircraft Engines. The proposal to halt the deliveries of the engines was also reported on Saturday by the Wall Street Journal.

Safran did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and French government officials could not be reached for comment.

Aside from aircraft engines, flight control systems are up for discussion at the February meetings. Honeywell International has received licenses to export flight control systems to COMAC for the C919 for about a decade, and one was approved in early 2020, according to a person familiar with the matter.

But future permission for such sales for COMAC’s passenger aircrafts may be up for debate. Honeywell also has been seeking a license for flight control technology to participate in the development of the C929, China’s planned wide-body jet venture with Russia, the person said.

The flight control system operates moving mechanical parts, such as the wing flaps, from the cockpit.

A spokeswoman for Honeywell declined to comment.

An aerospace trade group official said his organization would like to weigh in on any policy shifts.

If there are any changes, we would hope they would engage with us, as they’ve done before,” said Remy Nathan, vice president for international affairs at the Aerospace Industries Association.

At the heart of the debate over a possible crackdown on the sale of U.S. parts to China’s nascent aircraft industry is whether such shipments would fuel the rise of a serious competitor to U.S.-based Boeing Co or boost China’s military capabilities.

People familiar with the matter said some administration officials are concerned the Chinese could reverse engineer some items, though others say an abundance of LEAP engines in China has not brought that about to date.

If the United States were to move ahead with the measure, one person familiar with the matter said, China could retaliate by ordering more planes from Airbus SE, rather than crisis-hit Boeing, which relies on China for a fourth its deliveries.

The Trump administration’s meetings about technology issues also are set to include a discussion of whether to impose further restrictions on suppliers to Huawei Technologies, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, which is on a U.S. trade blacklist.

Reporting by Karen Freifeld and Alexandra Alper; additional reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris; editing by Jonathan Oatis

Source: Reuters “U.S. weighs blocking GE engine sales for China’s new airplane: sources”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

22 Comments on “U.S. weighs blocking GE engine sales for China’s new airplane: sources”

  1. John Wilkes Booth says:

    And of course, when faced with the ramifications of a $3 trillion lost to US businesses, Trump changes his mind today just as I predicted:

    “I want China to buy our jet engines, the best in the World,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I want to make it EASY to do business with the United States, not difficult. Everyone in my Administration is being so instructed, with no excuses…”

    Must be fun to live in a country where the leader has biopolar disorder. LOL


  2. Joseph says:

    Looking at history at American treacheries, China would already have alternatives of their own their C-919 engines and flight controllers. After all, China lost a lot financially from American treacheries on the J-7 program, the Black Hawk helicopter program, the Type 053 modernization program and the Israeli Phalcon program. However the Chinese had shown although there were setbacks, they had alternatives. The J-7 program evolved into the successful JF-17 program, despite American nonsense claim about the Israeli program. The Type 053 modernization program evolved to indigenous warship programs of Type 051, Type 052, Type 054 and the crowning glory of Type 055. And there’s some aircraft carriers as bonus as well. All these would not happen if the American did not reneged on their commitment as China would be bound by American Intellectual Property nonsenses, and made dependent on American technology like Taiwan and Japan. A bit of sting may hurt, but it will develop immunity. Unlike the Rare Earth blocking that the American would never recover, China has so far recover from any hurdles the American thrown at them. So what is a blocking for jet engines to China? It will only hurt General Electric projected profits than the C919. No Western analysts knew about the KJ-2000 when Clinton messed with the Israeli Phalcon deal. Now the KJ-2000 is reality while the Israeli is still weeping and mourning from their lost profit from the Phalcon deal. The GE engines for the C-919 are more likely only to satisfy bias American FAA and NTSB requirements for export licensing. The C919 does not really need an American engine, or flight control. No matter, the C919 market is Chinese domestic market. And with American influence is diminishing so fast, no one would care so much about American dominations with their FAA anymore if the C919 proves to be a success in China’s domestic market. Countries who look to China for Chinese hardwares, like Indonesia has proven that cheap Chinese hardwares are as reliable as the American, plus they are not bleeding spare parts like American hardwares. Recently, American supporters in Indonesia are horrified that Indonesia is looking at the Chinese J-10 favorably as the replacement for the canceled corrupt American F-16 deal. The corrupt F-16 deal means that Indonesia would pay a single F-16 refurbishment for $121 million, far more expensive than a brand new F-35 that the American failed to sell, and the F-16s were crashing upon delivery, with no warranty!! Indonesia looking at the J-10 is really a shift of attitude toward the confidence of American products. Indonesia was after all the first victim of the previously-assumed ‘safe’ Boeing 737 Max. If the C919 makes it safely and successfully in the Chinese market, it would easily find a huge market in Indonesia as well. Who cares if it has GE engines and flight controllers or not, as long as it is safe and reliable, unlike the Boeing 737 Max.


  3. Wtan says:

    Another alternative is the Russan PD-14 Engine as a stop gap till the CJ1000A is ready. Another option is the WS-20 which is almost ready for production.


  4. kommonsense says:

    just in time for china’s ws 10, 15 and 20 engines to be installed on the C 919s


    • Chinese power says:

      Since China believes in the supremacy of Chinese ingenuity replacing foreign engines should be no problem.


      • kommonsense says:

        name me ONE SINGLE other country that has advanced anywhere near china’s level of aeronautics, on their own, little girl.


        • Abe says:

          Using extensive IP theft and other forms of Chinese stealing, China has moved from the ox-cart to the space age. Here are a few examples:

          •Apple engineers Jizhong Chen and Xiaolang Zhang were arrested this month after attempting to transfer trade secrets regarding an Apple project focused on self-driving carrs. This is according to the sworn affidavits from FBI agents. Zhang stored Apple’s trade secrets on various devices before being caught by the company’s security team last spring, the FBI alleged.

          • In November, the Justice Department charged a government-owned Chinese company, Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co., and co-conspirators with stealing trade secrets from the U.S. semiconductor company Micron Technology. According to the indictment, the Chinese hoped to break into the market for a technology called dynamic random access memory, or DRAM, that’s used in computer electronics.

          Need more examples? Just say the word and I can provide countless examples where Chinese dishonest practices have plundered American and western IP to enrich and advance China. This is why companies and people are wary of dealing with China.


          • John Wilkes Booth says:

            LOL. Hmmmm…now how can I make a comment that is both racist and a logical fallacy at the same time? Well, one way would be to try and pass off a couple of negative examples as being representative of an entire country or an entire race of people. For example, I can claim that the once mighty US is a country in such decline that Americans have turned to cannibalism in order to survive. Here are a few examples:

            • A Michigan man is accused of murdering a man he met on Grindr, then cutting off and eating parts of his body. Mark Latunski, 50, was arraigned on December 30 on one count of open murder and one count of disinterment/mutilation of a dead body in the death of hairstylist Kevin Bacon, the Detroit Free Press reported. “Mr. Latunski stated he used a knife, stabbed him in the back one time, then slit his throat,” Moore said, according to NBC News. “Afterwards, Mr. Latunski stated he wrapped rope around the ankles of Mr. Bacon, and hung him from the rafters on the ceiling.” Lieutenant Dave Kaiser confirmed to Newsweek that Latunski told officers that after killing Bacon, he had cooked and eaten the man’s testicles. He added that Bacon’s body had been found in a hidden room in Latunski’s basement.

            • Friends of Reddit user IncrediblyShinyShart were in for a stomach-turning surprise when he invited them around for a Sunday brunch. His guests arrived to a feast of pastries, cakes, mimosas, and tacos. But here’s the catch – the tacos were made with meat from his very own foot. The 38-year-old Reddit user was driving at 72 kilometers (45 miles) per hour when he was hit and flung from his bike. The bones of the foot were shattered and doctors told him he would never be able to walk on it again, so IncrediblyShinyShart agreed to have it amputated. He just wanted to know if he could keep the foot once it was done. They said he could and so after the operation, IncrediblyShinyShart took it home and froze it. Then, he invited his 11 of his most “amenable” friends to share a once in a lifetime culinary adventure with him. Ten said yes. A chef friend prepared a chunk of meat from the top of the shin, marinating it overnight and then sauteeing it with peppers, onions, and lime alongside corn tortillas and a tomatillo sauce. Strangely, it’s perfectly legal to eat human meat in all US states but Idaho. Of course, the normal processes for obtaining said meat – murder, corpse desecration, and the selling and buying of human flesh – tend to be frowned upon.

            Need more examples? Just say the word and I can provide countless examples where Americans have eaten human flesh. This is why people from around the world are wary of eating American “hamburgers.”


            • Abe says:

              Please explain how your comment has anything to do with China being unable to produce a workable engine for the C-191


              • John Wilkes Booth says:

                Please explain how your comment has anything to do with the US being unable to produce a workable cuisine. I mean, China has at least 8 different types of cuisines alone: Cantonese, Sichuan, Hunan, Fujian, Anhui, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang. Other countries like France, Italy and Mexico are also famous for their cuisines. US only has hotdogs, hamburgers and the Donner party. What’s up wit dat, brah? LOL


                • kommonsense says:

                  hotdogs…..ever wonder just what the hell is a hotdog????

                  it’s another form of spam–ingredients that no one really wants to know about . and both uniquely american…..

                  ever notice how chinese restaurants outnumber all others combined? when was the last time anyone ever heard of a russian/polish/ukraine/german/spanish /english /jewish restaurant?

                  that is mute testimony to how chinese (mainly cantonese and sichuan) cuisine is light years ahead of the pack. italian food is the only one that can come close.


          • Kwai Laan says:

            Wow, such accusations coming from somone defending a country that is the greatest violator of copyrights and intellectual property rights in the last century.

            “The US complains that others steal its technology, but America was once a tech pirate itself”

            Mike Pompeo Says ‘We Lied, We Cheated, We Stole’



          • skortblog says:

            This is the first time you mutilated moron has had the nerve to reply to me. When u have anything that even remotely resembles fact, then post it,OK? But till then, in addition to your appendage sucking, start contemplating how your mutilation will affect your unworthy and useless life, vagina boy.


          • kommonsense says:

            netanyahu–your father–got strip searched when he went to russia.

            an inconvenient truth 4v u to swallow, my little mutilated vagina boy….


          • kommonsense says:

            what a phucking idiot you are, vagina boy. only a brain dead ,mutilated moron is unable to see the trump anti-china bullsh1t in all the drivel you suck on.

            as i demanded before–there MUST be minimum age and IQ requirements b4 one is allowed internet access–lest products of inbreeding like this americunt appendage sucking bottom feeder should slither out of the woodwork.


          • johnleecan says:

            After Americans graduated college, they are met with management that lectures them on the vicious dog eat dog world.

            Just like Mike Pompeo who admitted they were taught to lie, cheat and steal and that is what they have been doing since USA came into being. Mike Pompeo had the courage to admit it because his boss, Trump, had been admitting to all sorts of American evil actions in the past.

            Some examples are Trump giving the go signal to use waterboarding to torture people. Another is Trump admitting America is in Syria for stealing Syrian oil. Another is Trump wouldn’t get out of Iraq, which USA destroyed and stole their oil, until Iraq pay America hundreds of billions of dollars. Americans think they are exceptional. They feel they can do anything without repercussions.

            You see Abe, you didn’t finished college and you are stuck in your menial jobs. You weren’t taught about the dog eat dog world. The evil things you do like lie, cheat, steal were influenced by other lowly criminals just like you. You don’t get to have nice big houses, fancy cars, beautiful girls, etc. In America, when you see some dude driving a fancy car, it surely was bought on a loan. In China, you are sure they bought them with cash.

            Abe, you are stuck in your pathetic life of believing America is the innovator and there’s nothing anybody can do because your simple brain can’t handle the truth.

            Liked by 1 person

            • kommonsense says:

              thank u 4 that elegant expansion on my reply to that idiot. one of the things that deeply irk me is stupidity, or lack of common sense. i simply couldn’t justify the time to educate him.

              another thing that the west teaches is that capitalism is best, and that one can make unlimited amounts of money,

              what they omit is that the chances of that happening is on par , or less than winning the lottery.,


    • John Wilkes Booth says:

      Or better yet, simply move ahead with SF-A or CJ-1000A engines which were designed for the C-919.

      I’m just worried about poor GE, who makes all the engines for the 737 MAX. With that plane grounded and the production line halted, this latest random attack on an American business by the Trump administration must have all the GE aviation division employees sh!++!N6 their pants. LOL


      • 777-9-X says:

        Save your worrying for the C-919 since the engines on the 777X are the most powerful on a twin engine passenger jet
        “Designed specifically for the Boeing 777 aircraft, the GE90 is the world’s most powerful turbofan engine. In 1995, the GE90 engine debuted aboard a British Airways 777 airplane along with commercial aviation’s first-ever carbon-fiber composite fan blades.


        • John Wilkes Booth says:

          Yes, good point, brah. More worries for GE.

          “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD), warning Boeing 777-300ER powered by GE engines of a potentially unsafe condition affecting the power plants. This is the second emergency AD, which follows an uncontained engine fire incident back in October 2019.”

          “The requirement follows investigative findings into October 2019 event, during which a Boeing Model 777-300ER, powered by GE GE90-115B model turbofan engines, experienced an uncontained high-pressure turbine (HPT) failure. As a result, the aircraft suffered damage and had to abort a takeoff.”

          “It is understood that the incident in question is Thai Airways Flight TG-970. On October 20, 2019, Thai Airways’ Boeing 777-300ER was due to operate a long-haul flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Zürich, Switzerland, with 359 people onboard. The widebody was accelerating for takeoff from runway 01L when the left-hand engine (GE90) failed.”

          “Shortly after the incident, on October 23, 2019, the FAA issued an emergency AD, requiring operators to remove Interstage Seal from General Electric Company (GE) GE90-115B model turbofan engines, listing eight serial numbers of affected engines.”

          “As was stated within the directive, it was prompted by an uncontained high-pressure turbine (HPT) failure that resulted in an aborted takeoff of a Boeing 777-300ER on October 20.”

          “The authority has highlighted that uncontained HPT failure, if not addressed, could result in the release of high-energy debris, damage to the engine or airplane, and possible loss of the airplane.”



  5. John Wilkes Booth says:

    Yet another example of the US cutting off the nose to spite the face. Keep on restricting the few things that China actually still imports from the US. Then wonder the US trade deficit keeps growing. LOL.

    China’s aviation market is set to become the largest in world within the next 5 years. Chinese demand for commercial planes is worth almost US$3 trillion worth of industry business over the next two decades. So what the US do? It considers taking GE and Boeing completely out of game and voluntarily handing the entire market over to Airbus. I would laugh my a$% off if the US actually went through with this self-imposed sanction on itself, but I suspect that there is absolutely ZERO chance that this happens.