Jim Armitage: Defence big guns will want to target Hagel
Jim Armitage is the City editor of The Independent and London Evening Standard group of newspapers. He has been a reporter and editor for more than 20 years and was recently shortlisted for the Press Gazette financial journalist of the year and The Society of Editors financial journalist of the year awards. He contributes news, investigative reports and comment to the Independent titles plus a daily column in the Evening Standard.
Friday 11 January 2013
Global Outlook The defence group BAE is among the biggest British spenders on Washington lobbying, splurging $3.5m in 2012. Over the past five years, it's spent some $24m, according to OpenSecrets. That's twice as much as even Barclays did during the aftermath of the banking crisis. Rolls-Royce, another big supplier to the US military, spent $7.3m over that period.
One presumes the arrival of a new defence secretary in the form of Senator Chuck Hagel will mean a whole load more shoulders for BAE and Rolls to tap in Washington. Particularly as Mr Hagel looks likely to reduce US military intervention, and, inevitably, spending on equipment.
The Vietnam veteran attracted little funding from the weapons-making industry during his two terms in office, despite his glittering war record marking him out for a potential big job in defence department circles. No doubt the lobbyists in Washington are already scrambling to make up for lost time.
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