- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 17, 2009

Your news story that the World Trade Organization ruled that European Union governments have illegally subsidized Airbus to the tune of billions of dollars, in a grand design to steal market share from U.S. firms and as many as 65,000 jobs from U.S. aerospace workers (“EU subsidies for Airbus ‘illegal,’ ” Business, Web, Sept. 5), failed to ask the most important question: What will the Obama administration do now?

Airbus and its parent company EADS are attempting to bid for a host of U.S. defense contracts, including the highly sought-after $35 billion tanker refueling aircraft program. For their bid, Airbus/EADS wants to use the very planes that were built with the illegal subsidies.

The Department of Defense can discount the value of the illegal subsidies when assessing the Airbus/EADS bid, or it can continue to ignore Airbus’ illegal subsidies the way Wall Street regulators did with credit default swaps. If U.S. policymakers merely stick their heads in the sand, U.S. workers will be further penalized for the illegal activity.

This should be a test case for President Obama as to whether change is “real.”

RICHARD MICHALSKI



General vice president

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Upper Marlboro

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