- The Washington Times - Friday, January 7, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

If President Obama wants to create jobs, why is the Pentagon rigging the $35 billion refueling-tanker contract for a foreign company? (“Democrats aim to create jobs, Kaine says,” Politics Jan. 3). Speaking in 2008 about the tanker deal in Pennsylvania, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama said, “When you’ve got such an enormous contract for such a vital piece of our U.S. military arsenal, it strikes me that we should have identified a U.S. company that could do it.”

Apparently, this bit of common sense has been long forgotten. The Pentagon has now fixed the game for European giant Airbus to submit a tanker bid based on its A330 aircraft, which was built with $5 billion in illegal subsidies, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The defense federal regulatory code requires fair and open competition for defense contracts, so the Pentagon has every right to cite the WTO decision and take into account Airbus‘ illegal subsidies when evaluating the tanker bids. So far, it has turned a blind eye to the subsides and a cold shoulder to American workers.

That’s not the change Americans voted for in 2008 or in 2010. If the Pentagon won’t stand up for American workers against foreign trade, Congress should step in and require the Pentagon to take Airbus‘ illegal subsidies into account.

PAUL SHEARON

Secretary-treasurer

International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers

Washington

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