Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Slattery hits Roberts on Buy American

The Slattery camp today hit Sen. Pat Roberts for his reactionary "leadership" on the matter of the controversial contract awarded by the USAF to a French company.

This is an issue that we here at LBK have been all over since the first days of our existence, and something our Republican counterparts on the Net have pretty much ignored (coal is so much more sexy).

“Roberts had two chances to fight for Boeing and Kansas,” Slattery said. “First as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and then as a member of the conference committee for the 2006 Defense Authorization bill. On both occasions, Roberts failed.”

The Roberts camp had contended that the provision wouldn't have prevented the deal because Northrop Grumman -- an American defense contractor -- is partnering with AirBus on the contract. According to Defense News, that's not the case.

“The [Buy American] provision aimed at Airbus, a subsidiary of European giant EADS, is a narrowly written amendment banning the defense secretary from buying goods or services from any foreign company that receives subsidies from a foreign government that is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The prohibition applies when the United States is engaged in an unresolved WTO dispute over the subsidies, or if the WTO has ruled that the subsidy is prohibited.

The language is tailor-made to keep Airbus from winning an Air Force tanker contract against its American rival, Boeing.”

NOTE: It is but a coincidence that the son of Pat Roberts, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was a lobbyist for one of the biggest defense contractors in the country (Northrop) and he just worked on helicopters, so there is nothing unseemly going on there.

The Roberts camp is singing a different tune now. Now they're saying they voted against the Buy American Provision because it was "protectionist" and "irresponsible" and that it would have been vetoed by the President.

The problem is, if the provision was specifically tailored to prevent the very eventuality that happened -- AirBus winning the contract -- why is Roberts so outraged now? Does he no longer believe it's "protectionist" to prevent the outsourcing of military contracts to companies subsidized by foreign governments?

Also, don't forget the fight to kill the Buy American provision was championed by none other than Sen. John McCain.

Kudos to Slattery for holding Roberts' feet to the fire and saying what we've all been thinking since ol' Memory Pills started carrying the Bush Administration's water.

“It’s time Roberts put the best interests of Kansas ahead of old party politics,” Slattery said. “Roberts had an obligation to do his job and stand up to President Bush on behalf of Boeing and Wichita.”


Slattery said Roberts should be fired for failing to protect Kansas jobs. “It is time to replace Roberts with a senator who will care about Kansans and champions the issues important to them,” Slattery said.

I think Sen. Sam Brownback put it best.
"Thanks be to God and the GAO."
Someone had to make the right decision, because Brownback, Tiahrt, Roberts and McCain sure weren't in any mood to do it. Not if it meant standing up to George W. Bush and their EADS lobbyist buddies.


Anonymous said...

You know, i can understand why free-traders like McCain don't care if our defense projects are built at home, but you'd expect the congressmen and senators from the affected place to give a shit.

it's just great roberts & tiahrt are trying to fix their fuck up after the fact...without ever admitting they did anything wrong in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for free trade, but it just seems a little risky to rely on a foreign government-owned company to build our military equipment. Sure we're friends with France now, but a lot can change in 50 years.

Anonymous said...

Free trade is leading to the collapse of our nation. Last poster therefore must hate America and wants to see our nation collapse due to the sellout of America via "free trade".

Blogger who supports free trade needs to open eyes to reality including declining dollar, loss of jobs overseas, price inflation including oil and gas, and the huge trade imbalance going on for over 40 years now.

People who support free trade are economic morons with their eyes closed to reality. Support protectionism-reject free trade. Our nation's future depends on it.

Anonymous said...

I concur Roberts political career and his power base in DC is collapsing big time. I support this theory of Buy American. This concept of globalization and free trade is pure Bushism. Find the lowest labor anywhere in the world and the cheapest mfg. plant anywhere in the world to keep prices as low as possible for the benefit of American consumers has some huge fundamental flaws.

Loss of control of industrial production and loss of jobs to foreign nations taking jobs away from Americans.

While protectionism with trade restrictions,tariffs and quotas have weaknesses, none of those weaknesses are as bad as selling out production and jobs to the cheapest nation on the planet earth by this stupid theory called globalization. AKA-free trade. Reject anything with the word globalization or free trade in it. Including this local intermodal facility in JOCO.

All this intermodal center is going to do is make KC a hub for drug traffic and illegal immigration.

Anonymous said...

Once again Mr. Showen, if you're going to campaign for congress on this website, please have the decency to put your name on your posts.

Anonymous said...

Are you protectionist guys nuts? You blame the economy, weak dollar, inflation on free trade??? Whoa-go take an Econ class... or travel abroad. Get out of your shell!

Inflation-- what would be more inflationary -- buying a $1 widget made in China - or a $5 one made in Kansas? How about oil. Would you rather pay $4/gallon for OPEC gas, or $8/gallon for US only gas? If I had to buy $8 gas - sure maybe I employ a few extra US workers at refineries in Houston - but I no longer have enough money left over to buy Wheat bread made from Kansas Wheat.

Weak dollar - hey numbskull - a weak dollar makes US goods cheaper abroad, increasing exports of US goods, increasing manufacturing jobs. DUH!

I'm all for Boeing winning the contract. But if their bid wasn't competitive, then Im getting ripped off as a tax payer. They tried to use a more profitable, less suitable air-frame for the tanker b/c it wasn't commercially viable and would maximize profits. Shame on them. We deserve the best product from them at a reasonable price !

Anonymous said...

I would rather pay 8 dollars for a domestic gallon of gas. To think otherwise, makes you a Bush loyalist and a sucker for any stupid econ theory. You are the slow type that also thought Reagan econ theory was good--aka Voodoo Economics.

If the economics are so smart, which I challenge considering economics to be idiots like simpletons like yourself, then why is our country so fucked up, smart guy?

What is your solution to our mess? More free trade? Glad you are not in charge of anything.

Anonymous said...

People who think economists know what they are doing probably also would be the types in the past who believed the earth really was flat.

Wake up to reality. Economists don't know squat.
The only person who believes an economist are stupid people and fellow economists.

Which one are you?

Anonymous said...

If you like free trade and hate protectism, then you are probably glad to hear a foreign corp. is trying to buy Budweiser for 46 billion. And even worse, today a Korean company is trying to buy Starkist Tuna. So, if you consider the multiplier effect of a dollar from basic econ, the nation of Korea thanks you for your dollar because they get to enjoy the muliplier effect of that dollar.

SO, rocket econ scientist, explain to all of us your flawed theories on the multiplier effect of any given dollar. Especially when that dollar is owned by a foreign corporation.

How does foreign ownership of production in America make us a better nation? Or, is the reality that foreign investment in the US is a very high national security threat to our future including your job security?

Or maybe you are simple and happy working at your local McDonalds, QuikTrip, Target or the local gas station owned by some foreign corp. as a customer rep driving your foreign auto to work just so you can drink a foreign owned beer when you get off of your crappy domestic job 15 years from now because you supported free trade back in 2008. Wake up.

Support protectionism before it is too late.

Anonymous said...

Hey free trade guy, if you think I am numbskill, Harvard did not last year when they invited me to attend graduate school there.

How about you, Mr. Free Trade? Where is your economic theory from? KU?

No wonder you are stupid and naive. People like you explain why we are in this situation we are facing. Do America a favor. Go work for a foreign corporation in that foreign nation.

Anonymous said...

I apologize for trashing stupid person who supports "free trade". Typical, I do not pick on intellectually challenged people. So dumb person, please accept my apology for pointing out your ignorance. OK?

Anonymous said...

Apology accepted. No matter how dumb I am, I have the same right to post to this blog no matter how stupid my argument is.