Let's Get Some Guidelines For Foreign Defense Sales

Forget Capitol Hill tussles over the B-2 Stealth bomber and the Seawolf submarine. For political fireworks, it's hard to beat the struggle over the future of LTV Corp.'s defense and aerospace division. In April, a federal bankruptcy judge approved a $450 million bid for the LTV business, made jointly by France's Thomson-CSF and investment bank Carlyle Group. Martin Marietta Corp. and Lockheed Corp., whose $385 million offer lost out, have mounted a vigorous campaign to block the deal. Their charge--that if a company 58% owned by the French government gains control of vital missile technology, both national security and U.S. competitiveness will suffer--has won the support of many on Capitol Hill.

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