If Trump Wins, Expect Thousands of Defense Jobs to Move to Europe

A Rafale fighter jet on the assembly line of French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation.

Donald Trump has pledged to bring jobs back to the U.S. from overseas, but if elected president the Republican frontrunner might send thousands of American defense jobs to Europe.

U.S. defense industry and national security analysts are expressing concerns that a President Trump might prompt Middle Eastern and other military allies to seek arms elsewhere.

“President Trump may prove offensive to Islamic states and those countries could seek alternative sources of weapons systems,” Byron Callan, an analyst with research firm Capital Alpha Partners wrote in a recent report. “European firms could benefit if countries seek to reduce U.S. defense dependence.”

That means billions of dollars that would go to American firms — Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and others — could shift to European arms makers, such asBAE Systems, Airbus, Thales, and Finmeccanica.

In recent years, foreign sales have been key for many arms makers, particularly as U.S. weapon sales have slowed. The war against the Islamic State group, or ISIS, has also boosted arms deals in the Middle East. Now defense industry watchers worry that a Trump administration could be bad for business.


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  1. If the price of crude continues to drop as expected with Iran’s recent announcement to increase production, many of these oil rich Mideast nations will likely be hanging on for dear life economically and not buying many arms at all. So it may be a mute point. How about these major defense contractors getting into manufacturing advanced energy efficient autos and trucks, high speed rail roads with Lee Wanta and manufacturing advanced zero point energy system, perhaps H3 systems too or even high tech printed houses from hemp byproducts?

  2. There are many other thing American can build besides weapons. We need to restore the notion of war avoidance in our government. War shouldn’t be or no longer can be the ” force that gives us meaning” as so aptly put by Chris Hedges. In this respect Trump could be good for America.

  3. I remember when American made automobiles were the worst quality of vehicle available. People bought better built vehicles until the auto industry improved their product. The state of American arms appear the same, what with the F35 Turkey and combat ships that can’t make harbour without a tugboat. This story is just more Trumpenoia.

    • Agree. This article is nuts. The defense industry is scared to the point of losing their water over a Trump presidency. He openly stated in the SC debate that defense contractors were fair game, as were their lobbyists and compromised elected shills.

  4. Good — let them all leave – we can build a new Military Industrial Complex that is Puely American and for America. And tell those in the Military and Government that aren’t working for the American people to leave too. Let them start a new country in Iraq. And all their money stays here in America — all of it that has been made off the sweat of the American people. Time for a complete Change-Order anyways.

  5. Pardon me while I shed a tear for those poor defense industry workers. I grew up in the shadow of a GM foundry, with rust-colored sidewalks, streets, houses and cars. Everybody worked there, everybody was union, thanks to the US Supreme Court ruling that Henry Ford could not pay a “living wage” to his workers, because his duty was to serve the stockholders. To me this is just the final endpoint for proposed trade deals that were dead in the water during the ’80s and were only resurrected in the ’90s when “slick willie” managed to lose both houses of congress. Bring on the destruction of manufacturing in search of higher profits for the owners. Don’t worry, the companies will continue to make money for the people who matter. …or is this just fear porn pushed by people who make a very good living at it?

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