- The Washington Times - Monday, August 23, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In visiting Ohio last week, President Obama needed to press the case that a real economic recovery demands the United States reinvigorate the manufacturing sector (“Obama touts recovery effort in backyard,” Politics, Thursday). We need a shift toward more fair-trade policies that could be the catalyst local businesses need to start hiring new employees.

There’s no better example of this than the competition to win the U.S. Air Force’s $35 billion tanker contract. French manufacturer Airbus has proposed a tanker financed by $5 billion in illegal government subsidies, which the World Trade Organization recently condemned in a historic ruling. This unfair financial advantage allow would Airbus to lowball its bid for the tanker contract, enabling it to grab the contract and outsource the 50,000-plus jobs it would support.

While the WTO’s decision won’t take effect for years, Congress can move now to protect U.S. aerospace workers by discounting Airbus‘ subsidies in the tanker competition. The House of Representatives already has introduced budget language to this effect. America’s aerospace workers are looking to the Senate to pass similar legislation ensuring that companies that attempt what Airbus did are held accountable and U.S. businesses get a fair shake.

Perhaps then we can start rebuilding our economy.

PAUL SHEARON

Secretary-treasurer

International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers

Washington

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