As the world watches in horror as Vladimir Putin’s Russia bombs civilian sites like maternity hospitals in Ukraine in an unprovoked attack of raw conquest, sanctions have been imposed on a number of Russian banks, individuals and businesses.
Many are increasingly talking about and espousing buying American; however, that conversation actually started long before now.
When China began to leverage its manufacturing base during the pandemic to disadvantage nations that questioned its role in developing and hiding information about the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that becoming dependent on an adversarial nation for basic needs is not a good strategy.
Having run off most of our medical manufacturing facilities from Puerto Rico turned out to be not only harmful to Puerto Ricans employed in those facilities, but it turned out to be bad for Americans everywhere.
The U.S. needed China, so it could sell us medicines and supplies that we no longer could make. This gave China power and leverage over us. Control they were and arequite happy to possess and use.
The conflict in Ukraine illustrates another important point.
Sending money to a vicious and ruthless dictator gives him the resources to employ unthinkable atrocities — like bombing women and children in a maternity hospital — and attempts to force free nations to accept a foreign dictator as their ruler.
Challenging times often give us a chance to develop and display character.
It’s often hardest to do the right thing when it carries a heavy cost.
That’s what makes a recent move by Boeing so interesting.
The company announced it has suspended buying titanium from Russia, one of the world’s largest suppliers of the commodity. There are currently no sanctions imposed on Russian titanium so Boeing is drawing a line in the sand and making a strong statement about where it stands.
Naturally, the move has not gone over well with Russia.
Titanium is an important metal in the aerospace industry because of its strength and lightweight characteristics. It’s as strong and hard as steel, but weighs about half as much.
Titanium has the added benefit of being highly resistant to corrosion.
If you want to build world-class jumbo jets, you must have titanium to do so.
Boeing decided that it would move forward without Russian titanium because putting money in Putin’s pocket would only help his efforts to destroy Ukraine, topple its democratically elected government, and oppress about 40 million Ukrainians.
In contrast to Boeing’s strong stance, Airbus has announced that it will continue to buy titanium from Russia. That says a lot about Airbus — and none of it’s good.
There is an appreciable history of questionable business practices at Airbus, prompting investigations in the United Kingdom, where the allegation is the breach of the Bribery Act of 2010.
Airbus has agreed to pay billions in fines because it settled accusations of bribery, regarding the purported obtainment of lucrative contracts in foreign countries. French and U.S. authorities have also found indications of alleged bribery involving Airbus and their agents in Russia and China.
The bottom line is Americans should think twice before doing business with Airbus, especially our government and military leaders.
Why should we trust the business with national security contracts?
Some argue we should trust Airbus, but that seems as naive as making yourself dependent upon China for critically important medicines in a pandemic.
America ought not be beholden to anyone for the things that it needs the most.
As Russia is a potential nuclear threat, it’s pretty clear that missile defense technology is a critical need and must be 100% American. And as fears loom about war and the long-term intentions of China and Russia, all of our national security technology must also be 100% American.
To make ourselves dependent on others — particularly those with a checkered past —makes zero sense.
If we send our national security capabilities and jobs overseas, we’ll assuredly regret it.