Battle For U.S. Defense Work Goes Global, Flies Above Issues

Posted on Tuesday, July 25 at 08:59 by jensonj
The deals will test the nation's appetite for foreign military suppliers in an increasingly global defense industry. Overseas defense contractors want a bigger piece of the rich American military budget, the largest in the world, but face opposition from national security hawks and other critics who worry about jobs, technology and secrets leaving the country. To soothe the opposition, the Europeans regularly form alliances with U.S. defense companies and promise to open factories and create jobs on American soil. EADS, for example, will expand a facility in Mississippi to build helicopters currently produced in Germany. One of its partners is American helicopter giant Sikorsky Aircraft. "In a way, we're not concerned," said John Douglass, president of the Aerospace Industries Association, a U.S. trade group representing Boeing and other U.S. defense companies. "Most of the jobs are staying here in the U.S., and the countries that are doing this are by and large staunch American allies." The Defense Department, under pressure to rein in skyrocketing weapons costs amid rising federal deficits and ongoing war expenses, supports an international supply base to create as much competition as possible. http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-0607230299jul23,1,4126175.story?coll=chi-business-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

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