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LOCKHEED, MARTIN MARIETTA CEOs URGE U.S. GOVERNMENT TO RESIST FOREIGN NATIONALIZATION OF DEFENSE INDUSTRY

LOCKHEED, MARTIN MARIETTA CEOs URGE U.S. GOVERNMENT TO RESIST FOREIGN
 NATIONALIZATION OF DEFENSE INDUSTRY
 BETHESDA, Md., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The chairmen and chief executive officers of the Lockheed and Martin Marietta corporations, Daniel M. Tellep and Norman R. Augustine, said they will continue to urge the federal government to ensure that U.S. national security and economic interests are preserved against the threat of foreign government nationalization of the U.S. defense industry.
 Both chief executives said the issue of foreign ownership of major U.S. defense firms is heightened by the ruling Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court that awarded that LTV Corporation's missile business to Thomson CSF, a French firm 60 percent owned by the French government. The ruling also approved the sale of LTV's aircraft business to the Carlyle Group, Thomson's partner in their joint bid. Carlyle is receiving nearly half of its bank financing from a French bank largely owned by the French government and Thomson.
 "This, in truth, is less a business matter than one of principle. It is inappropriate for the sensitive assets of U.S. aerospace and defense companies to be sold off to foreign bidders owned or subsidized by their governments. There is simply no way American companies can compete with foreign governments that have very deep pockets," Augustine and Tellep said.
 Both warned against the danger of the gradual sale of America's industrial capacity to foreign firms able to benefit from such deep pockets. They pointed out that Thomson's initial bid for LTV's missiles business was nearly 50 percent higher than the highest bid by an American company. Thomson subsequently increased its price by nearly another 50 percent.
 Augustine and Tellep noted that more than 75 U.S. congressmen and senators have expressed their concerns over the sale of U.S. defense assets to Thomson. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, said he would sponsor a resolution to prevent the U.S. Department of Defense from awarding contracts to foreign government-owned defense firms.
 Additionally, United Auto Workers Local 848, which represents LTV aerospace and defense workers in Dallas, said the breaking up of the company between Thomson and Carlyle violates the union's collective bargaining agreement.
 "It has long been U.S. policy not to nationalize the U.S. defense industry through U.S. government ownership. It is a policy that has well-served the national security interests of our country, as was demonstrated most recently in the liberation of Kuwait," Augustine and Tellep said.
 "The U.S. government now will have the opportunity to ensure that U.S. national security and economic interests are preserved. The question our government should address in today's changing environment is whether foreign nations should be permitted to nationalize the U.S. defense industry when U.S. government ownership of our defense industry has been determined not to be in the best interests of our country," Augustine and Tellep said.
 Both noted the current economic climate in the industry is likely to result in many U.S. defense firms being available for acquisition. Augustine and Tellep said if the U.S government approves the Thomson acquisition, it will signal American defense contractors that they may have little choice but to ally themselves with foreign governments in order to remain competitive, even in their home market.
 -0- 4/14/92
 /CONTACT: Charles P. Manor of Martin Marietta, 301-897-6258/
 (LK ML) CO: Lockheed Corporation; Martin Marietta Corporation ST: Maryland IN: ARO SU:


TW-MH -- DC033 -- 8244 04/14/92 15:10 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 14, 1992
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