A Complex Issue

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said Wednesday it’s still too early for the Pentagon to act on the World Trade Organization’s March ruling against European aircraft maker Airbus as it relates to the KC-X tanker competition. His words came the day before Kansas lawmakers introduced the Fair Defense Competition Act, which would compel the Defense Department to factor WTO rulings when it acquires new weapon systems. Testifying Wednesday before Senate defense appropriators, Donley also said there’s a lot of factors for the US to consider regarding KC-X, but also more broadly, once the WTO process is complete. “Both of the offerors involved here [Boeing and EADS] are international companies, so we need to think through very carefully as a nation how we operate in the WTO and in the international marketplace with respect to … imports and exports and goods and services provided,” he said. (Prepared remarks)