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Air Force Contract Brings New York Jobs But Creates Controversy

The $40 billion contract to build refueling planes awarded to Northrop Grumman Corporation and France-based EADS by the U.S. Air Force is expected to bring millions of dollars in investment and several hundred jobs to New York, but Boeing Company, which lost the competition for the contract, and government representatives from Washington and Kansas are protesting the award. Newsday reports that the contract is expected to create more than $45 million in investment for the state of New York, along with hundreds of jobs in both the upstate region and on Long Island. The Air Force has agreed to provide a debriefing to representatives from Boeing to explain its decision. The controversy stems in large part from politicians and union activists' contention that a portion of the aircraft production will take place in Europe. "Our constituents and people all across America deserve to know the Pentagon's justification for outsourcing the second-largest defense contract ever awarded to an entity that our government has concluded is responsible for unfair trade practices that have stolen jobs from U.S. aerospace workers," say Senator Patty Murray and Representative Norm Dicks, Washington democrats. A similarly worded statement was also released jointly by Governors Christine Gregoire of Washington and Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.

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