Amid announcements of defense cuts by US President Barack Obama’s administration and workforce reductions at Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-16 aircraft, the US government should take a fresh look at the impact of selling the fighter aircraft long sought by Taiwan, the US-Taiwan Business Council said on Wednesday.
Following news that the US defense budget could be cut by US$1.4 trillion over 12 years, Lockheed Martin on Sunday announced plans to cut 1,500 jobs across the country ahead of expected flattening demand from the US defense establishment.
In a press communique on Wednesday, the US-Taiwan Business Council called on Washington to consider the positive impact of selling the 66 F-16C/D aircraft requested by Taiwan since 2006.
News of the layoffs at Lockheed Martin, it wrote, “highlights the need for the US government to reassess its position on the sale and to consider the positive economic impact of releasing F-16s to Taiwan.”
“The US-Taiwan Business Council joins Senator John Cornyn of Texas in calling on the Obama Administration to ‘end its blockade of Taiwan’s request to purchase new F-16s,’” it said.
Cornyn late last month said he would block a full review by the Senate for the appointment of William Burns as US deputy secretary of state until Washington agrees to the F-16 sale and ensures the release of a long-delayed Pentagon report to Congress on the airpower balance in the Taiwan Strait.
“The recent Perryman Report shows that the follow-on sale of F-16s to Taiwan would have a positive economic impact around the country, generating about US$8.7 billion in gross output and sustaining approximately 16,000 direct and indirect jobs over the life of the program,” US-Taiwan Business Council president Rupert Hammond-Chambers said in the press release, referring to the report released by the Perryman Group, a Texas-based economic and financial analysis firm, on June 22.
Allowing the sale of the F-16s to proceed would have a “significant economic boost” to states such as Ohio and Florida, where unemployment is at 8.6 percent and 10.6 percent respectively, Hammond-Chambers said.
“Reports estimate that 1,800 workers in Ohio and 1,900 in Florida depend on an F-16 sale to Taiwan. Should the Taiwan sale fail to materialize, however, current orders would only sustain the F-16 production line for another two years,” he says.
Based on current orders, the F-16 plant is expected to close at the end of 2013.
“There is already a strong strategic case in favor of releasing F-16s to Taiwan,” Hammond-Chambers is quoted as saying. “US economic security would also be well served by the sale, given the reported positive impact on the employment picture in numerous communities around America.”
However, the Obama administration has not moved forward on the sale because of concerns over China’s sensitivities, he said.
‘LONE WOLF’: The suspect was difficult to locate, as he did not use a cellphone, did not contact family and often lived in abandoned sites or parks, police said Taipei police on Thursday morning arrested a man accused of numerous burglaries and at least 14 incidents of sexual assault spanning more than 20 years, in what might be the nation’s most notorious crime spree in recent years. Sixty-year-old Tu Ming-lang (涂明朗) — who was yesterday placed in judicial detention, after a judge determined he was a flight risk without a fixed address — faces multiple charges of sexual assault and burglary, police said. A task force comprised of various law enforcement agencies arrested Tu as part of an investigation into an April 28 burglary in Daan District (大安), in which a
The majority of parents surveyed in northern Taiwan favor the suspension of all on-site classes at schools from the junior-high level and below amid a surge in domestic COVID-19 infections, parent groups said yesterday. About 84.4 percent of respondents in a survey of 2,912 parents in northern Taiwan, where the outbreak is the most serious, said they supported suspending classes, the Action Alliance on Basic Education, the Taiwan Parents Protect Women and Children Association, and the Taiwan Love Children Association said. The groups distributed questionnaires to parents in New Taipei City, Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu city and county from Saturday morning
ASEAN BATTLEGROUND: Japan and Australia could be drawn into Pacific tensions as China sets its sights on the Diaoyutai Islands and further beyond the first island chain Tensions between China and the US in the Indo-Pacific region are expected to intensify, the National Security Bureau and Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, recommending that Taiwan continue to emphasize its shared values and interests to encourage resistance to Chinese aggression. US commitments in the Indo-Pacific region are expected to continue unabated despite the war in Ukraine, as Beijing takes advantage of the conflict to expand its influence in the region, the agencies said in reports delivered to the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee on Sunday, ahead of a hearing yesterday on regional developments and trends. Although Russia’s invasion of
ONLINE REPORT: Confirmed cases filling out the online contact tracing report can check a box to indicate that a close contact had received a booster dose, an official said The guidelines for diagnosing COVID-19 have been revised to include people aged 65 or older who test positive with a rapid test that is confirmed by a healthcare worker, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 65,794 new local infections. The CECC had first announced the change on Monday, before publishing the new guidelines. Starting today, people aged 65 or older, regardless of whether they are undergoing home quarantine, home isolation or self-disease prevention, can be classified as a confirmed COVID-19 case by a healthcare professional, based on a positive result from an antigen rapid test, said