In the aftermath of the WTO’s ruling against European aircraft maker Airbus earlier this week, the Obama Administration has “the opportunity to show its commitment to American workers” by accounting for “the illegal dealings of European governments,” should Airbus enter the Air Force’s KC-X tanker contest, said Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.). Echoing similar sentiments was Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), House Appropriations defense panel chair, who, like Tiahrt, comes from a state where US aerospace giant Boeing has a large presence. Dicks said, “Our government must consider these findings very seriously and demand tangible remedies,” especially as EADS seeks to compete for US defense contracts. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) also called for US government action, saying, “It’s clear that the A330, the very plane Airbus would offer our military, has received illegal subsidies that have hurt American workers.” (See Still Neutral above) (Dicks statement) (Murray statement) (Tiahrt statement)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.