Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jeff Merkley urges investigation of tanker deal

Fed up with senseless U.S. trade policies (and unhappy with a recent Air Force decision to hire Airbus to construct a new tanker fleet) Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley this week announced a plan to strengthen American economic security. He is urging Congress to:
  • conduct a full investigation into the the awarding of an Air Force tanker contract to a foreign competitor,
  • strengthen the Buy American Act,
  • and end unfair trade agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA and the WTO.
Merkley asserts that:
American tax dollars should not be used to outsource American jobs and create family-wage jobs overseas. This is a threat to our national security and it is one more sign that our country and our government in Washington D.C. have gotten severely off track.
If the Air Force can't explain the rationale behind their decision, Merkley wants Congress to block the project's funding. Taking nearly $40 billion out of the U.S. economy during a recession is no small matter.

If Northrup Grumman outcompeted Boeing, then so be it, but if bureaucrats were pulling strings for Northrup (which is what happened with Boeing during the last go-around), then the guilty should be held accountable.

Merkley faults Oregon Senator Gordon Smith for helping to exempt the Department of Defense from the Buy America Act.

This tanker deal creates a perfect opportunity for Congress to examine the Act more closely and decide if it strengthens business here at home or allows the U.S. defense industry to coast on the promise of guaranteed contracts.


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