U.S. grants GE license to sell engines for China’s new airplane By Reuters

© Reuters. A man takes a picture of a General Electric (GE) engine during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai

By Stella Qiu and Karen Freifeld

(Reuters) – The Trump administration on Tuesday granted a license to General Electric Co (N:) to supply engines for China’s new COMAC C919 passenger jet, a spokeswoman for the company said.

Early this year, the United States was weighing whether to deny GE’s latest license request to provide the CFM LEAP-1C engine for the narrow-body COMAC jet, which is expected to go into service next year.

But in February, President Donald Trump intervened, blasting U.S. proposals that would prevent companies from supplying jet engines and other components to China’s aviation industry.

“I want China to buy our jet engines, the best in the World,” Trump tweeted on Feb. 18. “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…”

GE had received licenses for the LEAP engines since 2014 and was last granted one in March 2019, as the plane was developed and began to engage in test flights.

“We received notification that GE Aviation has license approval for engines for the C919,” a GE spokeswoman told Reuters on Tuesday.

Neither the White House nor the U.S. Department of Commerce, which issues such licenses, immediately responded to requests for comment.

COMAC is an acronym for Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd.

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