Obama vs. McCain: The view from Boeing

The defense industry doesn’t seem outwardly worried about which candidate and which party wins the election. The issue came up yesterday during a mini-press conference with Boeing Military Aircraft President Chris Chadwick. Here’s what he thinks:

TRIMBLE: Inthe FY09 budget, it was set in a bill that wasn’t necessarily an appropriationsbill, and some people said that that’s still in play and could be changed bythe new administration after they come in. How much do you risk do you seein 09 and 10 especially, buteven in 09, to the defense budget in the US?

CHADWICK: I’mnot a politician, but just from history I would surmise that while they’ll comein, whoever the new administration is, and look at the 09 bill and the 2010 POM– it’s just huge. The budget is huge. So I think the change will be minimal. Ithink there will be change, and your guess is as good as mine with what theydo.

You’ve seenthe current administration has left some difficult decisions for the nextadministration, on F-22 and C-17, so we’re going to wait and see as well. And we’reprepared to engage as asked to defend our programs with our customers. I don’tthink there will be major changes, but I think there will be some changesbecause they just can’t get through it all. So they’ll have certain programsthat will align with their defense strategy and that’s where I think you’ll seesome change.

Chadwick also isn’t overly worried about the global financial crisis causing delays for key international arms purchases.

I think,for some of these countries that have really spent a lot of time over the last5 or 10 years to really strengthen their economies, — like Brazil, likeDenmark, like the UK, even though we’re all going to be hit, like Australia — I don’t think you’ll see a substantive changein terms of where they go from defense procurement. Some of these othercountries may delay them, but we don’t see a huge effect.

You know,you look at Japan F-X and that [delay] has nothing to do with the financialchallenges. They’re still just working through some political change, and wejust have to be patient and see where it goes.

Note that he didn’t put India in the category of non-affected countries.


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