Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Very Real Economic Effects of George LeMieux's Stupidity

Republican Senator George LeMieux's oh-so-brave, principled stand against Barack Obama's nominee for ambassador to Brazil, is having a negative effect on more than just our diplomatic relations:

Boeing Co. may lose a $7.5 billion jet fighter sale to Brazil unless the U.S. Senate lifts a four- month delay in confirming President Barack Obama’s nominee for ambassador to Latin America’s biggest country, a former top U.S. diplomat to the region said. [...]

“This will cost thousands of U.S. jobs,” said Aronson, who served as top envoy to the region from 1989 to 1993 for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. “It’s an insult to Brazil to tell them they’re not important enough to have an ambassador like so-called advanced countries but that we want them to buy our planes over the French.”

Boeing is working to prevent Dassault from winning a contract that analysts estimate could be valued at as much as 5 billion euros ($7.5 billion). The Chicago-based company delivered its final offer for the F/A-18 Super Hornets in October, after French President Nicolas Sarkozy traveled to Brazil and won a promise from his counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, to open exclusive talks to buy Dassault’s Rafale jet.

That's right - because of LeMieux's pigheaded and completely unnecessary stubbornness, the U.S. may lose thousands of jobs when we desperately need some good news in the employment front. Not only that, we would lose those jobs to France, who just a few years back Republicans excoriated because France wouldn't support the Iraq war. Such moments as these often lead to hyperbole, but I'm not so certain that, at this point, calling LeMieux an economic traitor is too far off the mark.