Defense Spending Should Go By Trump’s ‘America First’ Principles

As President Trump goes to great lengths to put American workers first, the defense industry presents the perfect opportunity to secure thousands of jobs for American workers just like he has done in so many other industries since he took office.

Just this week, Trump scored a victory for American workers when he forced the European Union to give in on tariffs even as those on the right and left screamed that the tariffs would never work.

Fox News reports:

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After talks at the White House with E.U. officials, Trump announced in a joint Rose Garden appearance that the delegation had agreed to increase imports of soybeans and liquefied natural gas. Both sides agreed to work toward the goal of “zero” tariffs and subsidies on non-auto industrial goods, and to “resolve” recent tariffs that both sides have imposed.

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Now, we are just weeks away from one of the Air Force’s top business deals. Major defense companies are competing for the $16 billion T-X Trainer contract, expected to be awarded this summer.

The problem is, two of the leading competitors are owned by foreign governments. Korea Aerospace Industries has partnered with Lockheed Martin with much of the work to be done overseas. The billions in defense spending could be a manufacturing boon for American workers, and yet companies want to outsource it.

Another competitor for the deal, Leonardo, is owned by the Italian government and has a history of corruption. It shouldn’t be difficult to find American workers to build American planes. It’s common sense.

A report from UK Corruption Watch detailed the serious corruption questions surrounding Leonardo and its subsidiaries, including allegations of improper payments to South Korean officials to secure a Wildcat helicopter deal and similar alleged payments to agents and middlemen for a helicopter deal with India.

The report “concludes by asking whether the company is both systemically corrupt and likely to be involved in corruption again The answer appears to be yes…” dealing a devastating blow to the company.

As we previously reported, KAI has some issues with corruption as well.

KAI, which works with Lockheed Martin on the T-50 trainer, underwent a raid from 100 prosecutors and investigators on their offices. They reportedly found that KAI had allegedly purchased and installed an eraser program possibly to delete evidence left on computers and electronic devices. Five of KAI’s subcontractors underwent a raid within days of the previous raid. Prosecutors suspected KAI and its subcontractors colluded in embezzlement in the T-50 and Surion projects. A second raid of KAI’s headquarters also occurred to get more evidence of suspected price manipulation.

Some of these allegations have yet to be resolved, but it’s clear there are some serious questions surrounding some of South Korea’s top officials.

These reports overseas show that Hillary Clinton-style rule bending is not just an American issue. But more importantly, this is another chance for President Trump to show he puts American workers first, and we know he will deliver.

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