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Biden calls AI-Boeing deal ‘historic’

By Yashwant Raj
Washington, Feb 14 (IANS) US President Joe Biden on Tuesday welcomed as “historic” Air India’s purchase order of 220 Boeing planes, and said it reflected the strength of the economic partnership with India.

Biden also called the purchase an affirmation of his resolve to make the US lead the world in manufacturing.

Air India is buying 470 aircraft in all, the rest from France’s Airbus, in what is being called the largest deal for commercial aircraft in aviation history.

“The United States can and will lead the world in manufacturing,” Biden said, announcing the Boeing part of the deal “through a historic agreement”.

This purchase will support over one million American jobs across 44 states, and many will not require a four-year college degree, he added.

“This announcement also reflects the strength of the US-India economic partnership,” he said, adding: “Together with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, I look forward to deepening our partnership even further as we continue to confront shared global challenges – creating a more secure and prosperous future for all of our citizens.”

The Air India-Boeing deal came after protracted negotiations that stalled just short of being finalised several times, raising doubts if it will ever go through.