Top Jet Manufacturer Agrees To Pay Tens Of Millions After Export Violations Involving China

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Will Kessler Contributor
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Boeing reached a settlement on Thursday for the company to pay $51 million in civil penalties after unauthorized technical data was downloaded or transferred by foreigners, including from China, the State Department announced.

The settlement is to resolve 199 violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, most of which occurred before 2020, according to the Department of State. From 2013 to 2017, three Chinese employees at facilities in China downloaded technical data for a number of different military aircraft and for the AGM85E cruise missile, according to Reuters. (RELATED: Apple Shareholders Shoot Down Proposal To Investigate Human Rights Concerns Amid China Collaboration)

Boeing can suspend $24 million of the payment and instead put the money towards remedial compliance measures to ensure that data leaks like this one do not occur again, according to the State Department. The settlement will be paid out over 36 months, with a 24-month initial period where an external special compliance officer will oversee the agreement.

There were also unauthorized technical data downloads at facilities in 18 countries operated by Boeing or one of its partners, including Ukraine, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong and Russia, according to Reuters. The violations were voluntarily disclosed by Boeing and did not contain classified material.

Boeing has been under scrutiny following an inflight door plug blow-out on an Alaska Airlines flight in January that resulted in an emergency landing and several injuries. An initial National Safety Board investigation revealed that the door plug that flew off had no bolts during take-off.

Boeing has since ousted the head of its 737 Max passenger program and created a new position focused on ensuring quality.

Another report was released on Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration outlining several potential points of concern for Boeing operations in regard to safety, including the potential for management to impose retaliatory measures for employees who report issues. The report was mandated by Congress following two 737 Max crashes in 2018 and 2019 that resulted in the deaths of 346 people.

Boeing did not immediately respond to a request to comment to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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