CNBC EXCLUSIVE: CNBC TRANSCRIPT: BOEING CEO AND CHAIRMAN DENNIS MUILENBURG SPEAKS WITH “SQUAWK ON THE STREET” TODAY

When: Today, Thursday, February 15, 2018

Where: CNBC's "Squawk on the Street"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Boeing CEO & Chairman Dennis Muilenburg and CNBC's David Faber and Jim Cramer on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F 9AM-11AM) today, Thursday, February 15, 2018. Following are links to video from the interview on CNBC.com: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/02/15/boeing-ceo-will-build-over-900-planes-a-year-by-the-end-of-the-decade.html?play=1, https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/02/15/boeing-ceo-tax-reform-allowing-us-to-compete.html?play=1, & https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/02/15/boeing-ceo-market-responding-to-strong-aerospace-market.html?play=1.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

DAVID FABER: LET'S TALK A LITTLE BOEING HERE BECAUSE OF COURSE WE'VE TALKED THE ABOUT THAT STOCK SO OFTEN. WHY? BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN A HIGH FLYER –

JIM CRAMER: I LIKE THAT.

FABER: THANK YOU.

FABER: DENNIS MUILENBURG JOINED US RIGHT HERE AT POST NINE, JUST A LITTLE SHORT TIME AGO AND I ASKED HIM, WHAT HIS REACTION HAS BEEN TO THAT CONTINUED RISE IN HIS STOCK PRICE. HERE'S WHAT HE TOLD US.

DENNIS MUILENBURG: I THINK WHAT YOU'RE SEEING NOW IS THE MARKET IS RESPONDING TO WHAT IS FUNDAMENTALLY A STRONG AIRPLANE MARKET – AEROSPACE MARKET GLOBALLY. AND THE FACT THAT WE'RE DELIVERING ON OUR COMMITMENTS. WE HAD PROMISED PRODUCTION RAMP UP, WE'RE NOW DELIVERING ON THE RAMP UP AND YOU CAN SEE THE PROFITABILITY AS WELL. SO IT'S EFFICIENCY IN OUR PRODUCTION LINES, EFFICIENCY IN OUR SUPPLY CHAIN. YOU'VE GOT TOP LINE GROWTH AT THE MARKET. BOTTOM LINE GROWTH --

FABER: SO IT WAS JUST THE INVESTMENT COMMUNITY CATCHING UP TO A CERTAIN EXTENT?

MUILENBURG: I THINK THAT WAS PART OF IT, AND I THINK PART OF IT IS THE RECOGNITION NOW THAT THIS REALLY HAS CHANGED FROM BEING A HIGH CYCLE BUSINESS IN THE PAST TO A LONG-TERM SUSTAINED GROWTH BUSINESS. AND I THINK THAT'S CHANGED THE ATTITUDE AND THE PERSPECTIVE ON THE STREET.

FABER: YOU'VE TALKED A LOT ABOUT THAT OF COURSE. YOU GET A HIGHER MULTIPLE WHEN YOU CAN SHOW THAT YOU HAVE SUSTAINED GROWTH AS OPPOSED TO THE UPS AND DOWNS OF A HIGHLY CYCLICAL BUSINESS, AS HE SAID.

CRAMER: WE ALL REMEMBER THE DAYS WHEN YOU WOULD HAVE FABULOUS GROWTH AND BOEING WOULD BE A LEADING PERFORMER IN THE DOW THEN JUST HORRENDOUS AND BOEING WOULD BE THE WORST PERFORMER IN THE DOW. THAT'S ALL CHANGED, AND IT'S CHANGED BECAUSE SOME OF THE POINTS THAT MUILENBURG RAISES HAVE TO DO WITH SECULAR MIDDLE CLASSIFICATION, THAT THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE – 100 MILLION PEOPLE HE WAS MENTIONING, NEW PEOPLE FLY EVERY YEAR AND ALSO ECOMMERCE. SO THERE ARE TRENDS THAT ARE COALESCING AND THE SHORTAGE OF PLANES AND THE MULTI-YEAR BACKLOG CANNOT BE DENIED AND YOU CAN'T GET A PLANE IF YOU'RE A MAJOR AIRLINE. YOU CAN'T GET A PLANE AND THAT'S FROM BOEING OR AIRBUS.

FABER: AND STILL TALKED ABOUT 80% OF THE WORLD'S POPULATION HAS STILL YET TO FLY.

CRAMER: RIGHT. SO I LOVE THE LONG-TERM STORY AND YOU CAN LOOK AT A DAY LIKE TODAY AND YOU CAN SAY, OK, WHAT HAPPENS IF INTEREST RATES TRADE AT 3.2. OR YOU CAN STILL BUY BOEING, EVEN THOUGH YOU THINK YOU WOULD NEED FINANCING TO A BUY A PLANE, WHAT YOU NEED IS SOMEBODY TO LET YOU AHEAD IN THE QUEUE TO GET YOUR PLANE, SO LET'S NOT LOSE SITE OF THE FACT.

FABER: EVEN WITH A STOCK PRICE UP OVER 100% OVER THE PAST 12 MONTHS.

CRAMER: NOT AN ISSUE – WELL – LOOK, WHEN THE VIX SPIKES, WHATEVER SOMEBODY DOES, YOU GET THE DOW DOWN 1,000 POINTS, IT'S A BIG PART OF THE DOW AND BUY IT THEN. OK, IT'S GOING TO 400, THAT WOULD BE NIGHT REASONING, DECEMBER 7th. 279. AND NOW REITERATE I WAS USING 18-MONTH TIME FRAME. I THINK THAT MAY HAVE BEEN TOO PESSIMISTIC.

FABER: IT APPEARS THAT THAT MAY HAVE BEEN THE CASE. WE'VE GOT A LOT MORE FOR MR. MUILENBERG AS WE GO ALONG. WE HAD A LONG RANGING CONVERSATION WITH THE BOEING CEO. WE'LL HAVE MORE FOR YOU LATER THIS HOUR.

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FABER: LET'S GET BACK TO OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH DENNIS MUILENBURG. STOCK PRICE CONTINUING TO SOAR. JIM AND I ASKED HIM AS WELL ABOUT THE IMPACT OF TAX REFORM AND THE POTENTIAL OF A TRADE WAR WITH CHINA. HERE'S WHAT HE TOLD US.

MUILENBURG: THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS THAT'S HAPPENED IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS IS THE PASSAGE OF TAX REFORM. YOU KNOW, FRANKLY I'D LIKE TO THANK THE ADMINISTRATION AND THE HILL FOR GETTING THAT DONE. WE SAID THIS WAS THE BIGGEST THING WE CAN DO IN THIS COUNTRY TO UNLEASH ECONOMIC ENERGY AND WE'RE SEEING IT. IT'S ALLOWING US TO REINVEST IN OUR PRODUCT LINES AND IT'S HELPING US COMPETE EFFECTIVELY AROUND THE WORLD.

CRAMER: WELL, I'M GLAD YOU MENTIONED THAT BECAUSE THERE IS A PERCEPTION THAT COMPANIES SUCH AS YOURS WOULD JUST USE THE MONEY FOR BUY BACK, AND YOU'VE GOT A GREAT BUY BACK FOR DIVIDEND – YOU'VE ALWAYS HAD A GREAT DIVIDEND UNDER YOUR ADMINISTRATION AND THE PREVIOUS-- BUT I SEE BUILDING A HUGE NUMBER OF PLANES WHICH MEANS PLANTING EQUIPMENT AND PUTTING PEOPLE TO WORK.

MUILENBURG: ABSOLUTELY. WE'RE REINVENTING THE BUSINESS. RIGHT AFTER TAX REFORM IS PASSED WE ANNOUNCED A $3 MILLION IN OUR BUSINESS, TRAINING FOR OUR PEOPLE: ADVANCED DIGITAL TRAINING, INVESTMENT IN VETERANS IN OUR COMMUNITY, AND THEN ALSO INVESTMENT IN INNOVATION: FACTORIES AND PLANTS AND GROWING OUR PRODUCTION LINES, FUTURE PRODUCTS, FUTURE SERVICES.

FABER: BUT ON THE CONFERENCE CALL AND THIS IS OFTEN THE CASE IN THESE THINGS, IN THIS DEBATE RECENTLY, PEOPLE SAY YOU WERE GOING TO DO THAT ANYWAY? I MEAN, OF COURSE YOUR R&D WAS GOING TO INCREASE AS A PERCENT OF REVENUES, IT MIGHT EVEN INCREASE GIVEN ALL OF THE BENEFITS YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT OF THE BUSINESS, YOUR CAPX. PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH MORE INCREMENTALLY ARE YOU SPENDING AS A RESULT OF TAX REFORM?

MUILENBURG: THIS IS BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS, ADDITIONAL BILLIONS OF INVESTMENT. SO YOU'RE RIGHT, WE WERE ALREADY RAMPING UP AS A PERCENT OF REVENUE. WHEN WE THINK OF FUTURE PRODUCT LINES, OUR ABILITY TO RAMP THE 737 PRODUCTION RATE IS, AS I SAID, AND MAKE THE CAPITAL INVESTMENTS TO DO THAT. WE ALSO MADE A DECISION TO TAKE THE 787 DREAM LINER PROGRAM FROM 12 A MONTH TO 14 A MONTH. SO OUR ABILITY TO CAPITALIZE THAT, TO RAMP UP PRODUCTION AND THEN INVEST IN THE NEXT GENERATION PRODUCT LINES, IT'S ALL ENABLED BY TAX REFORM. AND I CAN TELL YOU THE NUMBER ONE THING WE'RE DOING WITH TAX REFORM BENEFIT, IS WE'RE INVESTING IN INNOVATION, INVESTING GROWTH. THAT'S GOING TO CREATE MANUFACTURING JOBS IN THIS COUNTRY.

FABER: I WONDER IF YOU'RE CONCERNED ABOUT THE INCREASING RHETORIC BETWEEN THE U.S. AND CHINA AND THE REAL POSSIBILITY OF A TRADE SKIRMISH IF NOT AN ALL OUT TRADE WAR. IT WOULD SEEM TO ME WERE THAT TO OCCUR IT WOULD NOT BE PARTICULARLY GOOD FOR YOUR BUSINESS.

MUILENBURG: IT'S SOMETHING KEEPING A CLOSE EYE ON. WE'VE HAD VERY GOOD DIALOGUE WITH THE ADMINISTRATION, AS WELL AS WITH OUR CHINESE CUSTOMERS AND THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE A BALANCED APPROACH TO TRADE WITH CHINA. CERTAINLY WE NEED FAIR TRADE, FAIR COMPETITION, BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE CHINA MARKET FROM AN AIRPLANE STANDPOINT, THOSE 41,000 NEW AIRPLANES, MORE THAN 7,000 ARE IN CHINA. IT'S BECOMING THE WORLD'S BIGGEST AIRPLANE MARKET ABOUT ONE—

FABER: AND YOU EXPECT THAT TO CONTINUE, I WOULD THINK?

MUILENBURG: WE DO. ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF OUR 737s THAT WE ROLL OUT OF OUR U.S. PRODUCTION LINES TODAY GO TO CHINA. SO WE HAVE A BIG EXPERT BUSINES. THE AEROSPACE SECTOR CREATES ABOUT A $90 BILLION TRADE SURPLUS FOR THE U.S. EVERY YEAR. BUT A BIG PART OF THAT IS CHINA. SO IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE A PRODUCTIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH CHINA, AND FREE AND FAIR TRADE IS IMPORTANT AND A BALANCED APPROACH TO IT.

FABER: SO FAIR TO SAY IT'S SOMETHING YOU WATCH CLOSELY, I WOULD ASSUME.

MUILENBURG: SOMETHING WE'RE KEEPING A CLOSE EYE ON.

FABER: DENNIS MUILENBURG, CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF BOEING. YOU KNOW, WE DON'T PERHAPS TALK ENOUGH ABOUT CHINA. IT'S THE RISK – IT'S SOMETHING OF COURSE THAT NEEDS TO BE WATCHED CLOSELY. HE'S WATCHING IT CLOSELY. BUT THE CONTINUED RELATIONSHIP WE HAVE WITH CHINA, WHAT THIS ADMINISTRATION DOES IN TERMS OF TRADE, WHAT THEIR RESPONSE WILL BE, ONE-THIRD OF ALL 737s, JIM, GO TO CHINA. ONE-THIRD OF THEM.

CRAMER: I THINK YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT TO FOCUS ON IT. ONE OF THE BETTER MOMENTS IN THE TERRIFIC APPLIED MATERIALS COMMS CALL, WAS THE IDEA THAT LISTEN, LISTEN, WE SEE A STEADY RAMP OF SPENDING IN CHINA WHICH IS POSITIVE FOR APPLIED BECAUSE OF OUR STRONG AND GROWING MARKET SHARE IN CHINA. HIGH SERVICE PENETRATION BOTH GLOBAL AND DOMESTIC MANUFACTURERS. IF YOU'RE APPLIED MATERIALS, YOU DON'T WANT TO LOSE THAT EDGE.

FABER: NO. IT IS ONE OF THOSE GEOPOLITICAL STORIES, THOSE MACRO STORIES WE HAVE TO KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON. AND WE'LL KNOW – THE QUESTION IS, IF THERE'S A SKIRMISH, WILL IT REALLY LEAD TO AN ALL-OUT WAR, OR WILL IT BE VERY MUCH CONTAINED?

CRAMER: WE'RE STILL WAITING ON SOME SORT OF STEEL NEWS.

FABER: WE ARE.

CRAMER: STEEL IS A VERY SMALL INDUSTRY IN OUR COUNTRY, BUT VITAL – THE DEFENSE INDUSTRY. IN THE MEANTIME, DAVID, THOSE WHO ARE CHARTISTS ARE LOOKING AT THE STOCK OF BOEING AND SAYING, YOU KNOW, HERE WE ARE. WE ARE JUST NINE POINTS AWAY FROM THE HIGH. WILL THIS TAKE IT OUT? STILL YIELDS ALMOST 2%. SO I HAVE TO TELL YOU, DAVID, I LOOK AT BOEING AND IT IS STILL THIS MARKETS LEADER. NOTHING HAS CHANGED. NOTHING.

FABER: NOTHING. IT IS WORTH MENTIONING WHEN YOU SAY LEADERS, BEFORE WE HEAD TO BREAK, APPLE IS UP ALMOST 2.5% THIS MORNING.

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CRAMER: WELL, THIS IS LIKE AT GREEN SHOW HERE. SHARES OF BOEING CONTINUING TO SOAR. CEO DENNIS MUILENBURG, JOINED DAVID, AND ME, HERE AT POST-NINE. NOT I, ME, THIS MORNING AND WE TALKED ABOUT THE COMPANY'S GROWTH, IT'S THE STOCK PRICE HAS BEEN, OF COURSE, REMARKABLE AND YES, THE RACE TO SPACE AGAINST A PARTICULAR GENTLEMAN WHO'S FABULOUS IN TELLING YOU THE STORY. TAKE A LISTEN.

MUILENBURG: YOU'VE SEEN THAT CHANGE JUST OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS AS AIR TRAFFIC HAS BECOME MORE GLOBAL IN NATURE. WE SEE AIR TRAFFIC GROWING, PASSENGER TRAFFIC GROWING ABOUT 6% TO 7% A YEAR. THAT'S FEEDING AIRPLANE GROWTH THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. WE SEE OVER THE NEXT 20 YEARS THE WORLD NEEDS 41,000 NEW AIRPLANES. THE GLOBAL FLEETS ARE GOING TO DOUBLE IN SIZE. ALL OF THAT IS GOING TO CREATE TOP-LINE GROWTH FOR BOEING AND OUR ENTIRE SUPPLY CHAIN.

CRAMER: YOU'RE MAKING HOW MANY PLANES THIS MONTH? HOW MANY PLANES THIS MONTH, LAST YEAR, AND HOW MANY DO YOU NEED TO BE MAKING NEXT YEAR AT THIS TIME? JUST TRYING TO GET NEAR THAT DEMAND.

MUILENBURG: WELL, LAST YEAR WE PRODUCED A RECORD 763 COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT. THIS YEAR WE'VE GUIDED TO 810 TO 815 AIRCRAFT. BY THE END OF THE DECADE, WELL BE BUILDING MORE THAN 900 AIRPLANES A YEAR. SO YOU CAN SEE A SIGNIFICANT TOPLINE GROWTH, PASSENGER TRAFFIC AROUND THE WORLD, WE SEE NEW PASSENGERS ENTERING. THAT'S GOING TO DRIVE THAT GROWTH. EVERY YEAR WE HAVE 100 MILLION PEOPLE THAT TRAVEL FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ASIA.

FABER: WHAT IS THE CASH FLOW AS YOU GO ON? BECAUSE THE LEVERAGE OF BEING ABLE TO BUILD THREE A MONTH TO FIVE A MONTH MUST BE EXTRAORDINARY.

MUILENBURG: IT IS. JUST TO GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE, OUR 737 PRODUCTION LINE THIS YEAR. WE'RE AT 47 A MONTH. WE'RE GOING TO BE TAKING IT UP TO 52 A MONTH. NEXT YEAR WE'LL BE GOING UP TO 57 A MONTH. ALL OF THAT IS DRIVING TOP LINE CASH FLOW. SO LAST YEAR OUR OPERATING CASH FLOW WAS A LITTLE OVER 13 BILLION. THIS YEAR WE'RE GUIDING TO 15 BILLION OF OPERATING CASH FLOW. SO YOU CAN SEE THIS IS A YEAR-OVER-YEAR CASH GROWTH BUSINESS. I THINK YOUR FUNDAMENTAL POINT ON THIS BUSINESS IS NO LONGER A HIGH CYCLE BUSINESS. THIS IS A LONG-TERM, SUSTAINED GROWTH BUSINESS.

FABER: WHICH I GUESS DESERVES A HIGHER MULTIPLE.

CRAMER: THAT'S WHAT – YOU KNOW WHAT I'M THINKING.

FABER: WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION, THOUGH, WATCHING YOUR STOCK PRICE MOVE UP PARABOLICALLY, REALLY FOR A PERIOD OF TIME THERE. WHERE EVERY SINGLE DAY YOU WERE CREATING BILLIONS IN MARKET VALUE. WERE YOU SURPRISED?

MUILENBURG: I DON'T SAY THAT I WAS SURPRISED. I THINK WHAT YOU'RE SEEING NOW IS THE MARKET IS RESPONDING TO WHAT IS FUNDAMENTALLY A VERY STRONG AIRPLANE MARKET, AEROSPACE MARKET GLOBALLY. AND THE FACT THAT WE'RE DELIVERING ON OUR COMMITMENTS -- WE HAD PROMISED PRODUCTION RAMP-UP. WE'RE NOW DELIVERING ON THAT RAMP-UP. AND YOU CAN SEE THE PROFITABILITY THAT'S HITTING THE BOTTOM LINE AS WELL. SO IT'S EFFICIENCY IN OUR PRODUCTION LINES, EFFICIENCY IN OUR SUPPLY CHAIN. YOU HAVE TOP-LINE GROWTH AT THE MARKET, BOTTOM-LINE GROWTH.

FABER: SO IT THE INVESTMENT COMMUNITY CATCHING UP TO A CERTAIN EXTENT?

MUILENBURG: I THINK THAT'S PART OF IT AND PART OF IT IS THE RECOGNITION THAT THIS HAS CHANGED FROM BEING A HIGH-CYCLE BUSINESS IN THE PAST TO A LONG-TERM, SUSTAINED GROWTH BUSINESS. I THINK THAT'S CHANGED THE ATTITUDE AND PERSPECTIVE ON THE STREET.

FABER: WE TALK A LOT ABOUT COMMERCIAL, OF COURSE, BUT DEFENSE ALSO IMPORTANT PART HERE. I'M CURIOUS, GIVEN THE INCREASED EXPENDITURES ON DEFENSE FROM THE BUDGET THAT WAS JUST PASSED, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

MUILENBURG: WELL, THE DEFENSE BUSINESS IS A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF OUR PORTFOLIO. SO ABOUT A THIRD OF OUR BUSINESS IS IN THE DEFENSE ARENA. WE'RE ENCOURAGED BY THE STRENGTHENING OF THE U.S. DEFENSE BUDGET. INTERNATIONAL DEFENSE IS STRONG AS WELL. ABOUT 35% TO 40% OF OUR DEFENSE BUSINESS IS NOW OUTSIDE OF THE U.S. BUT DOMESTICALLY, WITH THE INCREASE IN DEFENSE BUDGET, WE SEE FAVORABLE OUTCOMES FOR A LOT OF OUR PROGRAMS, THINGS LIKE THE NEW TANKER PROGRAM, THE P-8 SURVEILLANCE AIRCRAFT, OUR FIGHTER BUSINESS, OUR ROTORCRAFT BUSINESS, SPACE, SATELLITES, ALL OF THOSE HAVE UPSIDE AS A RESULT.

FABER: ON YOUR JANUARY 31stCONFERENCE CALL, I BELIEVE WAS THE LAST TIME WE GOT SOME COMMENTS ON THE EMBRAER POTENTIAL DEAL WHERE YOU'RE CONTINUING TO WORK, I WOULD ASSUME, WITH BRAZILIAN REGULATORS. CAN YOU GIVE US ANY UPDATE THERE IN TERMS OF PROGRESS YOU MAY HAVE MADE?

MUILENBURG: YEAH, WE'RE CONTINUING TO MAKE PROGRESS. WE DO SEE THAT AS A GREAT STRATEGIC FIT. WE'VE GOT COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCT LINES, COMPLEMENTARY SERVICES. EMBRAER HAS SOME VERTICAL CAPABILITIES THAT FIT WITH OUR STRATEGY GOING FORWARD SO IT'S A NICE STRATEGIC COMBINATION. WE'RE RESPECTFUL OF THE CONCERNS THE BRAZILIAN GOVERNMENT HAS RAISED AROUND SOVEREIGNTY AND THEIR NATIONAL DEFENSE. WE BELIEVE WE'VE STRUCTURED A DEAL CONCEPT THAT WILL SATISFY THE NEEDS OF EVERYBODY INVOLVED. SO WE'RE MAKING PROGRESS. STILL SOME WORK TO DO. BUT I'M HOPEFUL WE CAN BRING THAT DEAL TO A SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION.

FABER: SOUNDS AS THOUGH YOU'RE GETTING CLOSER?

MUILENBURG: WE ARE GETTING CLOSER. WE'RE MAKING PROGRESS. WE'RE NOT DONE YET. WE HAVE SOME WORK TO DO, BUT WE'RE MAKING CLEAR PROGRESS.

CRAMER: LAST NIGHT AIRBUS PUT UP SOME GREAT NUMBERS. IT HAD ALWAYS BEEN, WELL, ZERO SUM. THEY'RE DOING WELL, YOU MUST BE DOING BADLY. THAT'S ANOTHER MISCONCEPTION

MUILENBURG: YEAH, YEAH, THIS IS NOT A FIXED PIE BUSINESS WHERE WE'RE TRYING TO TAKE SHARE FROM EACH OTHER. WE'RE VERY COMPETITIVE AIRBUS IS A STRONG, RESPECTED COMPETITOR OF OURS. WE HAVE STRONG RESPECTED COMPETITORS IN THE DEFENSE BUSINESS AS WELL. BUT AEROSPACE AND DEFENSE IS A GROWING SECTOR. IT'S OUTPACING GLOBAL GDP. I WOULD ARGUE THAT OF INDUSTRIAL SECTORS, AEROSPACE AND DEFENSE IS PERHAPS THE STRONGEST SECTOR IN THE WORLD. AND WHILE WE SEE AIRBUS GROWING, WE'RE GROWING AS WELL. AND WE'RE GOING TO COMPETE AND WIN, AND WE'RE GOING TO ALL GROW AS THIS INDUSTRY GROWS.

CRAMER: I JUST GOT TO ASK ABOUT MUSK BECAUSE WE TALKED ABOUT IT LAST TIME, AND YOU KNOW I PUT MY MONEY ON YOU TO GO TO MARS FIRST. WE GOT AN INTERESTING DICHOTOMY HERE. I THINK MUSK MAY BE THE GREATEST PROMOTER OF OUR TIME. BOEING MAY BE THE GREATEST OPERATOR OF OUR TIME. IS THE NARRATIVE SUCH THAT HE GETS – HE'S ALWAYS THERE WITH THE BEST PICTURES. HE'S ALWAYS THERE WITH THE MOST EXCITEMENT, ESPECIALLY RIGHT BEFORE HE REPORTS HIS QUARTER. IS BOEING TOO SILENT ON THE SPACE RACE?

MUILENBURG: WELL, I'D SAY THAT, ONE, ELON AND THE SPACEX TEAM, THEY'RE ADDING ENERGY TO THE SPACE MARKET. AND WE LIKE THE ATTENTION THAT'S GENERATING. I THINK IT'S GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY. I PREFER TO PUT OUR FOCUS ON PERFORMING, OPERATING, DELIVERING FOR OUR CUSTOMERS WE ARE BUILDING THAT FIRST ROCKET TO MARS. AS I TOLD YOU, IT'S ABOUT 36 STORIES TALL.

CRAMER: 36 STORIES.

MUILENBURG: WE'RE GOING. FIRST FLIGHT, TEST FLIGHT IN 2019. AND I STILL FIRMLY BELIEVE FIRST PERSON THAT GETS TO MARS IS GOING TO GET THERE ON A BOEING ROCKET.

FABER: FINAL QUESTION FOR ME, I GUESS, THIS OUT THERE AS WELL. AUTONOMOUS AIRPLANES. WE CAN ALL REMEMBER -- I MEAN, THERE'S AUTO PILOT FOR AS LONG AS WE CAN REMEMBER, BUT IS THAT SOMETHING YOU THINK WILL EVER OCCUR? WILL THERE ALWAYS NEED TO BE -- I'LL ASSUME THERE WILL ALWAYS NEED TO BE SOMEBODY IN THE COCKPIT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE PLANE CAN LAND AND TAKEOFF ON ITS OWN.

MUILENBURG: THAT TECHNOLOGY IS MOVING FAST, SO THE TECHNOLOGY AVAILABILITY IS THERE. WE PROVIDE AUTONOMOUS AIRPLANES TO OUR DEFENSE CUSTOMERS TODAY. YOU SEE THE ENERGY THAT'S GOING INTO AUTONOMOUS CARS TODAY. ALL OF THAT CAPITAL INVESTMENT, YOU'LL EVENTUALLY GET TO AUTONOMOUS AIRPLANES I THINK THE BIGGEST HURDLE IS THE REGULATORY STEPS AND THE ACCEPTANCE BY THE PUBLIC BUT THE TECHNOLOGY IS THERE. AND THIS IS GOING TO UNLEASH NEW EFFICIENCIES. WE'RE INVESTING IN AUTONOMY, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, NEW MANUFACTURING SYSTEMS. THE AMOUNT OF INNOVATION GOING INTO AEROSPACE TODAY IS GREATER THAN IT'S EVER BEEN.

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CNBC
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CNBC
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e: emma.martin@nbcuni.com

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