By Justin Sink - 02/17/12 09:04 PM EST
The president made no mention of the NLRB dispute, only mentioning that the Dreamliner's fuselage was built in South Carolina. And Boeing spokesman Sean McCormack insisted that the resolution of the lawsuit was not the reason Obama was invited to tour the factory.
"We believe Boeing employees design and build the world's finest airplanes, and we appreciate the opportunity to share our accomplishments with America and the world. Boeing has hosted the past six American presidents at its facilities," McCormack said. "There is no connection the NLRB's dropped complaint and today's visit by the president."
The president did urge the reauthorization by Congress of the Export-Import Bank, a federally-run credit agency that finances foreign purchases of American goods. Boeing customers like Lion Air, Indonesia's largest airline, have used the bank to help finance the purchase of American aircraft.
"Last November, I was in Indonesia when Boeing announced a deal with the help of the Export-Import Bank to sell more than 200 planes to one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world. Boeing is one of the largest exporters in America, and this was the biggest deal you’ve ever done. Over the years, it will help support thousands of American jobs," Obama said during a speech to factory workers.
His call for re-authorization of the bank earned whoops and cheers from the assembled crowd.
The president also heralded how government technology made its way into the Dreamliner as part of a call for increased funding for research funding.
"This was the first plane designed virtually, using some technology developed by NASA. It’s got windows you can dim with the touch of a finger and displays that are projected on the cockpit windshield so pilots don’t have to look down at their instruments. Some of the most advanced work was done by engineers down in Huntsville, Ala., who used to work on the International Space Station. We need to support this kind of cutting-edge research," Obama said.