The United States should grant permanent most-favored-nation trading status to China instead of reviewing it yearly, a top Boeing Co. official said.

China is Boeing's third largest customer after the United Kingdom and Japan. It took delivery of one out of every seven aircraft the aerospace giant built last year."We don't require a congressional vote each year to continue trading with Canada, Britain or Japan. That would be preposterous," said Ray Waldmann, Boeing's vice president of international business. "But that's how we treat China."

Mr. Waldmann addressed 200 Chinese delegates at the end of the World of Concrete Exposition's Sino-American Trade Fair, China's largest trade mission to the United States this year. The delegates sought investors and contractors for approximately 100 major Chinese infrastructure projects.

"We've got to work the administration and Congress," Mr. Waldmann said after his dinner speech. "We need normalized trade relations with China. We can't have this annual guessing game. Any (business) deal is vulnerable in this kind of environment."

MFN status, which is now extended to China on an annual basis and requires congressional approval, keeps tariffs on its imports as low as those from other trading partners. It also avoids Chinese retaliation against U.S. exports.

The United States grants permanent MFN status to most of its trading partners and extends it automatically to those that are members of the World Trade Organization.

To make MFN permanent for China, Congress has to change the Jackson-Vanik amendment, legislation that ties U.S. trade benefits to a partner's emigration and human rights policies.

Critics say the United States should not renew China's MFN status until China corrects human-rights abuses.

The Chinese government has predicted that airlines in the world's most populous nation will spend $45 billion over the next 15 years to keep up with growing travel demand.