- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 2, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In Ralph D. Crosby Jr.’s recent interview with The Washington Times (“Defense company heeds Obama’s demands,” Page 1, Aug. 19), the American head of European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. (EADS) accused American working men and women of manufacturing planes, tanks and body armor that were “not up to par.” Mr. Crosby must have forgotten his glasshouse when he was throwing stones at patriots.

His company, EADS, is responsible for the latest, greatest defense-contracting failure: the Airbus A400M, a military transport aircraft that is some four years late and $7 billion over budget. It’s par for the course for EADS, which has delivered poor-quality jet fighters and helicopters late and over cost to European countries that are foolish enough to subsidize the monopolist aerospace giant to the tune of billions of dollars, with no accountability.

Now EADS would like to sell the Pentagon its very own French boondoggle: a $100 billion fleet of refueling tankers manufactured primarily in Europe and financed with $5 billion in European subsidies that our own U.S. trade representative has called illegal in a World Trade Organization lawsuit. EADS has never delivered a tanker with a working refueling boom, so the project is guaranteed to be late, less capable and over budget. Also, if the Pentagon hands EADS the contract, it will cost 44,000 American workers their jobs and send critical tax revenues overseas, slowing the economic recovery.

One chief executive officer’s hot air won’t make a plane fly. It takes American engineering and manufacturing excellence to do that.

PAUL SHEARON

Secretary-Treasurer

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers

Washington

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