Boeing plane

Boeing Co. is expanding beyond traditional commercial planes like the 737 MAX into the market for smaller "regional" aircraft.  

NEW YORK — Boeing Co. and the Brazilian jet maker Embraer will attempt to form a joint venture that would push the U.S. aerospace giant more aggressively into the regional aircraft market.

The new company, which has faced heavy scrutiny from lawmakers in Brazil, is being valued at about $4.7 billion.

The companies said Thursday that Boeing will own 80 percent of the joint venture. Embraer SA the remaining 20 percent.

Brazilian lawmakers have been hesitant to allow any deal, fearing the loss of control of a major industrial and defense asset.

Embraer is one of Brazil's industrial giants and the government sees the company, which is involved in defense manufacturing, as strategically important. President Michel Temer had previously rejected selling control of the jet maker to Boeing.

The government has veto power over any change in the company's controlling interest, an indication of how highly prized it is and how sensitive any deal with foreign investors is.

Any partnership between Boeing, based in Chicago, and Embraer would counter strengthening ties between Europe's Airbus and Canada's Bombardier, which have threatened Boeing.

Embraer's lineup of E-jets would help Boeing counter Airbus' new majority stake in Bombardier's C Series planes that have 100 to 150 seats and help it compete with small airliners from China.

Boeing is one of the larges private-sector employers in the Charleston region, where it makes the 787 Dreamliner and supports other commercial and military aircraft programs.