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Actually going to you tonight Connell thank you very much -- Boeing is getting another shot at the 35.
Billion dollar air force tanker contract from the Department of Defense box.
Competitor Northrop and its European partner EADS.
Say they are confident that the -- force will choose the KC 45 tanker once again.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates made the announcement to reopen bidding for the tanker contract yesterday his.
What he had to say.
Industry the congress and American people almost have confidence in the integrity of this acquisitions process.
I believe the revised process will result in the best tanker.
But -- air force at the best prize for the American taxpayer.
That's what he had to say Republican representative Duncan Hunter -- California now joins us from Capitol Hill he is chairman of the house armed services committee -- to talk more.
About -- second -- representative hunter thank you so much for joining us this morning.
Look let me begin with -- -- to be with -- incidentally I'm not the chairman and the ranking Republicans with the chairman Ike Skelton would be dismayed with that that.
Well I gave -- -- but I like say hey we gave you the we gave you jump up promotion today how about that.
The -- in a good mood all right so how significant is this decision.
Big -- for the military and the American taxpayers and of course the almost folks who work in the industrial patient.
We've calculated out the difference between the the tanker the European tanker in the American tanker which is which would be about 85% made in this country.
The difference in jobs is roughly a 100000 jobs including direct and indirect.
That's if we move this -- -- the European tanker we would be moving a massive economic stimulus package.
To Europe but beyond that from my perspective and I sent a letter to the secretary.
On this point.
The triple seven the -- airplane that which Boeing makes.
Actually has 60% more carriage capacity than either one of the two competitors.
And also 19100 miles more range and my recommendation is.
That the competition be shape and be open.
So that this newer aircraft and more effective aircraft can be entered.
By the by the Boeing corporation.
But you know mr.
hunter wanted to talk about so the Government Accountability Office last month said that -- that was significant errors at the -- force -- in the original award to the Northrop team what needs to be done to make it to ensure that those mistakes.
And -- meet again.
Well very simply leave the the GAO did say that the that the competition was unfair and that factors.
Were taken into consideration which were not outlined.
In the parameters of the of the -- contract proposal.
And -- of the competition and up primarily.
The main factors were increased -- capacity by the European aircraft.
And and it's in its ability to carry -- cargo and carry passengers.
In addition to.
It's carriage capacity with respect to feel like gave it a greater dimension now.
In these areas -- the Boeing aircraft but the the contract parameters did not indicate that there would be any additional credit given for that so.
A GAO did find that the that the competition was unfair my point is that there's say a newer airplane than either one of the competitors.
That's the Boeing triple seven which is beaten the Airbus around the world and has now thousand orders on order.
It yet it has again 19100 miles more range and 60% more carriage capacity.
That means when you build an air bridge out to a theater in the whether it's our -- or contingency around the world or.
A problem in the Taiwan straits and you have to have.
Dozens and dozens of tankers working -- you can at distance carry lots more fuel.
With the -- plane and I think we should open this thing up so that the Newark Airport aircraft.
Can be in the competition.
Represented -- -- how much of the fact that EADS being a French company.
You know -- -- nationalities of nationalism playing into this is like wait a minute when we're cutting bowing out of this book but you know losing all these jobs.
What are we doing was there was a little bit of that in there as well.
Well the interesting thing is -- the GAO the general accounting office which generally is considered to be the honest broker in this operation and is.
-- -- in competitions past.
Never shown any inclination to weigh in on the American side although I think that our our military product should be made in this country.
They found in fact that the competition was skewed in favor.
Of the European aircraft now that's -- an interesting twist in that they found not only what you're no prejudice for the American aircraft but actually.
The competition was unfairly shape.
You give an advantage to the European aircraft sell off.
I think this is an an unusual situation that I think it shows the absolute.
Attempt by the US air force to.
Two to ensure that that to go overboard in fact to give.
To -- needs the the upper hand in this competition and I think he was done in good faith I think they simply made mistakes in the competition.
But no there was not a prejudiced in -- the American aircraft it was quite the opposite.
But in your opinion should we go with the American contract even if it's not the cheapest proposal.
Yes I think we should for a couple of reasons first we have a complaint lodged against the against Airbus right now on the basis of that.
That the European governments unfairly subsidized.
The that that aircraft maker -- not fair for American workers and American businesses over here that don't get government subsidies.
To compete with a with a on price with the commercial aircraft maker which is funded by the Treasury's.
A foreign nation now we have a we have a WTO complaint that is filed right now.
Against Airbus and and if if folks are going to really endorse free trade and I'm I'm not an absolute free trader I think you need to make.
You're on your defense articles and your own kind country and that's an important an important proposition from the national security perspective.
Nonetheless we have a a U a subsidy case.
Against each is pending right now and -- had in fact if if they're found to be subsidized by the foreign by the -- of their of the European nations.
That's obviously I should be at least considered in the competition you know we if we go to the cheapest the cheapest.
-- -- We can have the entire US navy.
Made by China.
We could have our missiles short range missiles made by North Korea.
We can farm everything out that's not wise for the Americans who who right now carry the defense umbrella for the entire world.
And you know at a time also when it's tough to get plans to give us an extra hundred soldiers in Afghanistan.
That's why we had to send 3000 Marines to southern Afghanistan the idea that we give them a 100000.
And jobs doesn't make a lot of sense -- Right valid point we'll leave it right there.
Representative hunter not chairman but certainly with the house armed services committee thank you so much to -- -- -- Well both Boeing and Northrop issued statements yesterday -- -- the announcement Northrop saying quote.
They applaud the defense the problem for putting the deal on a path -- toward quick closure.
Continuing that the united states air force has already picked for the best tanker and they are confident that it will do so again.
Meantime Boeing said they -- quote encouraged that the Defense Department intends to take steps to initial a fan and opened -- to.
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