The company of a prominent Obama administration adviser is encouraging its employees and business partners to explore outsourcing to Mexico.
Boeing is urging its employees and suppliers to participate in a Nov. 15 event in Chicago, where Obama cast his vote for president Thursday, which will focus “on how to do business in Mexico,” according to a letter sent to the company’s suppliers by Patrick McKenna, Boeing’s director of Supply Chain Strategy and Supplier Management.
"Several of our suppliers have successfully set up factories in Mexico because of the numerous advantages that Mexico offers to aerospace suppliers," McKenna wrote, according to the letter sent Oct. 17 and first reported on by the Seattle Times. "Boeing will be sending several people to this event, and we wanted to inform our supply base of this opportunity."
The letter encouraging outsourcing has raised some eyebrows because Boeing CEO Jim McNerney currently serves as chairman of President Barack Obama’s Export Council.
The outsourcing event will take place in the president’s hometown of Chicago where former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel currently serves as mayor.
The conference is slated to “cover a range of topics related to manufacturing and doing business in Mexico and will have speakers from various companies who have successfully moved business into Mexico.”
The event is being hosted by American Industries, a group dedicated to helping companies move their operations to Mexico. American Industries has promised to “waive the registration fees for our Boeing suppliers,” according to McKenna’s letter.
A Boeing spokesperson did not respond to a Free Beacon request for comment.
News of the letter and event drew a sharp response from at least one business leader, according to the Seattle Times:
Tom Wroblewski, president of District 751 of the International Association of Machinists (IAM), reacted to the letter in political terms.
"We'd think that Boeing CEO Jim McNerney, as chairman of President Obama's council on exports, would be particularly sensitive to the importance of exporting American products, not jobs," said Wroblewski, via email. "We plan on talking to Boeing about this. We believe it is counterproductive to what we are trying to accomplish here."
Boeing spokesman Larry Wilson said "it's a matter of routine business" to keep the company's suppliers informed of opportunities to expand their capacity around the world.