Boeing CEO: Twists and turns in DC 'unbelievable'

Boeing CEO says 'more to go' on profitability

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney on Monday said he was hopeful lawmakers would reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank and reach a deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but expressed concern over negotiations in Washington, D.C.

"The twists and turns in Washington right now are unbelievable," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box"

McNerney spoke to CNBC on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show, where aerospace and defense industry players are gathering to present their products.

The U.S. Export-Import Bank, which provides loans and loan guarantees for U.S. exporters, is approaching a June 30 deadline for congressional reauthorization. It faces opposition among some Republicans, who say the government should not pick winners and the bank primarily helps large companies, including Boeing.

The bank also came under fire last year after it suspended or removed four officials accused of taking kickbacks to steer contracts to certain companies.

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McNerney said he believes the Ex-Im Bank will be reauthorized, pointing to a procedural Senate vote last week that shows the chamber's will to extend the bank's mandate. He is confident the House of Representatives will take up the bill once the Senate sends it.

"I think we're in pretty good shape," he said. "A delay of two or three weeks before that happens will not have an effect on most of us, including Boeing."

He also said he's optimistic Congress will pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade deal among 12 Pacific Rim nations. On Friday, the House defeated a key part of the trade deal, with Democrats opposing President Barack Obama's initiative over fears the TPP will hurt U.S. workers.

Failure to approve the deal would be a "foregone opportunity" to expand the U.S. economy, McNerney said. "It would be a huge missed opportunity given that we're talking about probably the largest trading pact that has ever been put together with the fastest-growing part of the world."

McNerney also addressed the dispute between U.S. and Arab Gulf airlines over so-called Open Skies agreements, which seek to liberalize international aviation and promote free markets through bilateral agreements between countries. U.S. companies have complained to regulators that their Qatari and Emirati rivals receive billions in subsidies from their respective governments, giving them an unfair advantage.

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Boeing counts airlines on both sides of the dispute among its customers.

"Obviously, we're caught in the middle here a little bit," McNerney said. "Both sides of our customer groups have arguments and are complaining about the process and would like to see it improved. We just want to make sure in midst of all that that we don't lose sight of the big game here."

He said Open Skies has been a huge economic driver, boosting the industry by increasing the frequency of travel, lowering costs through competition and creating better access to cities for people around the world.