The Biden administration’s unprecedented flow of military aid to Ukraine over the past two years is not translating into new jobs or economic gains for Americans, according to a report by NBC News. Despite funneling over $44 billion to US defense contractors for military aid to Kiev since last February, these companies have been slow to hire American workers to meet the increased demand.
Analysts in the defense industry predict that it will take several more years for arms manufacturers to reach production levels that will benefit the wider economy. They cite supply chain issues, a tight labor market, and a boom-and-bust system that does not allow for sustained output as the main reasons for the delay.
One example is RTX Corp., formerly known as Raytheon, which reported difficulties in finding raw materials and qualified employees. While the company secured a $3 billion contract to replenish the US weapons stockpiles and expects another $4 billion over the next two years, CEO Greg Hayes admitted that it would take two to three years to deliver the goods.
Lockheed Martin, another major defense contractor, also predicted a minimal increase in revenue for 2023 despite the surging demand for its missile systems in Ukraine. The company hired 2,000 people in the past year but only 40 of those positions were located at the factory where the systems being sent to Ukraine are manufactured.
Similarly, General Dynamics has seen increased orders for its Combat Systems unit due to the demand for tank and artillery shells in Ukraine. However, the new plant being built in Texas to meet this demand will employ only 125 workers.
These numbers seem to contradict President Biden’s suggestion that the additional $61.4 billion in military aid he wants for Ukraine would serve as a jobs creation program for Americans.
The White House has been distributing talking points to representatives from both parties to emphasize the benefits of aid to Ukraine. They claim that it is a smart investment that strengthens the US military industrial base and creates highly skilled jobs for Americans.
The Pentagon recently announced that billions of dollars in additional funding are needed to replenish US weapons stocks and continue funding Ukraine’s military. The new aid package for Ukraine, announced earlier this week, also reiterates the White House’s talking points about the positive impact of aid on the US military industrial base and job creation.
In summary, despite the large amount of military aid being provided to Ukraine, there has been a slow translation of this funding into new jobs or economic gains for Americans. The defense industry faces challenges such as supply chain issues and a tight labor market, which have hindered the hiring of American workers to meet the increased demand. The Biden administration is trying to present this aid as a jobs creation program, but the reality seems to be far from that.