Renewed Drive to include WTO Rulings in KC-X Decision

With perhaps less than one month until the Air Force chooses the KC-X tanker supplier, and less time left in the lame-duck Congressional session, Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) is still pushing to make trade issues a factor in the Air Force’s decision. “This session of Congress is coming to an end, but I am not stopping my fight,” said Larsen in a release. He is calling on the House Armed Services Committee leadership to ensure that the final version of Fiscal 2011 defense authorization legislation retains language originating in the House that would force the Air Force to consider World Trade Organization rulings on aircraft subsidies in its KC-X source selection. So far, the Defense Department has been able to keep trade issues out of its major procurement decisions. Boeing has a major presence in Larsen’s state. Not surprisingly, he champions Boeing’s NewGen Tanker in the competition over EAD North America’s A330-based tanker. The House overwhelmingly approved the WTO language for its version of the defense bill back in May.