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Board Job Likely Bars Biden Pentagon Chief From Some Arms Deals

  • Predecessors Mattis and Esper also had defense industry roles
  • ‘I want people like him at the table’ in industry: Clyburn
Lloyd Austin
Lloyd AustinPhotographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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Lloyd Austin, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for defense secretary, may have to stay out of decisions on the Pentagon’s costliest weapons system, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, because of his ties to its engine-maker, Raytheon Technologies Corp.

Supporters of Austin have focused on the historic role he would occupy as the first Black defense secretary, leading a force that Biden notes is 40% people of color. Critics have questioned whether Congress should grant the retired Army general a waiver from a law barring officers from leading the Pentagon within seven years of leaving the military.