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F-16 sales to Taiwan could help save U.S. aerospace industry: group

ROC Central News Agency

2011/10/28 23:25:44

Washington D.C., Oct. 27 (CNA) The United States should sell F-16 C/D fighter jets to Taiwan to prevent rising unemployment and shrinking investments in the U.S. aerospace industry, the US-Taiwan Business Council said Thursday.

More than one million jobs in the aerospace industry are at risk as U.S. defense spending cuts would approach US$1 trillion over the next 10 years, said the council's president Rupert Hammond-Chambers, citing an economic analysis published Monday by the Aerospace Industries Association.

The analysis forecast that the aerospace industries in California, Virginia and Texas would be the hardest hit by the steep defense budget cuts, and that the aerospace industry in 50 states would be affected.

If the U.S. sold Taiwan F-16 C/D fighter jets, it would positively contribute to the U.S. job market and economy, Hammond-Chambers argued.

He estimated F-16 sales could help the U.S. generate US$8.7 billion worth of businesses and help keep 16,000 jobs in the aerospace industry, while stimulating the economy in states such as Ohio and Florida where unemployment rates have reached 8.6 percent-10.6 percent.

The U.S. federal government could receive tax revenues of up to US$768 million from the arms sales, and local governments US$593 million, Hammond-Chambers said.

Because of China, the U.S. government has been dragging its feet on F-16 C/D fighter jet sales to Taiwan, he said.

The US-Taiwan Business Council believes the U.S. government should assess the F-16 C/D proposal, not only from the perspective of Taiwan's defense needs, but also the impact on the U.S. economy, instead of basing its decision solely on U.S.-China policy, Hammond-Chambers said. (By Chou Yung-chieh and C.J. Lin) Enditem /pc

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