Writing in the December 2008 issue of Armed Forces Journal, Scott Hamilton conveys part of a protectionist sentiment that is rising in America. The target is outsourcing, which has taken large strides in China. It’s also picking up in India, and is even happening with Russia as part of a larger deal to secure supplies of titanium, which are critical to the improved fuel performance of passenger jets like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350XB. From “Industry pulse: Giving away the store“:
“Commercial aviation industry outsourcing threatens the viability of America’s aerospace industry and our national security interests. This is a bold statement. It’s also inflammatory, given the broad move toward outsourcing by the Big Four airframe manufacturers — Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Embraer — and the aerospace engine makers. And it’s not a universal opinion by any means. But there is solid reason for the Pentagon and Congress to be concerned about the growing trend in outsourcing jetliner production and the implications for America’s national defense.”
The canceled KC-X tanker deal, which featured insourcing of Airbus A330 freighter and US tanker production to the USA, is notably and specifically exempted from Hamilton’s criticism. It may not be exempt from rising protectionist sentiment, however, as a new President and Democratic caucus take office with an array of ties to Boeing. Time will tell.