The coronavirus relief law signed by President Donald Trump on 27 March sets aside billions of dollars in available loans to distressed and national-security-critical companies – categories into which aerospace manufacturers like Boeing and its suppliers may fall.
The industry has as of yet issued little public reaction to the law. Companies and aerospace analysts say they have been reviewing the 880 pages of text.
The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) calls the law “a blueprint to aid the American people, our employees and the industries that sustain our national and economic security”.
“For aerospace and defense, this legislation offers tools and incentives that can help provide some support and stability during this crisis. It is a critical investment in our small businesses and supply chain, which are the lifeblood of our industry,” AIA says.
The group did not respond to a request for more comment.
The law includes two buckets of loans that might apply to some aerospace companies, says sources reviewing the document.
One is a $17 billion bucket designated “for businesses critical to maintaining national security”.
The other is a $454 billion pool of available loans and loan guarantees earmarked for “eligible businesses, states or municipalities”.
Both pools are part of $500 billion to be made available to “severely distressed sectors of the United States economy” for purposes “related to losses incurred as a result of the coronavirus”, the law says.
Congressional offices did not respond to requests for comment.
Boeing declines to comment about the law, deferring to a statement issued on 26 March when the bill was still working through Congress.
That statement thanks the Trump administration and Congress for taking action to support Boeing, it’s some 17,000 suppliers and the broader American economy.
“The bill’s access to public and private liquidity, including loans and loan guarantees, is critical for airlines, airports, suppliers and manufacturers to bridge to recovery,” Boeing said.
The law says loans and loan guarantees will be made by the secretary of the US Treasury to companies that do not otherwise have access to credit and at interest rates reflecting risk and current US obligation yields.