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The Political Economy of Transatlantic Defense Technology Production Open Access

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The findings of the thesis suggest that the US defense market is highly competitive and that foreign firms’ market commitment, in terms of US based foreign direct investments, employment and revenues, play little role in determining future revenues from RDT&E; contracts. It is also an indication that the United States is committed to continue utilizing globalization of production to leverage its military technological advantage. Furthermore, competitive European niche capabilities originating from NATO countries has a relatively good chance of being able to receive increased RDT&E; funding and thereby be a part of this effort. This is not an insignificant indication since military production and especially RDT&E; are so intimately connected with a nation’s sovereignty and national security. Nevertheless, it is a clear example of the imperative pressure that globalization puts on cutting-edge high technological production. Furthermore, European governments should pay attention to the developments in the US defense market. Extended integration and funding of European defense firms into the US market is certainly good from an industrial perspective. Yet, because of the competitive pressures in the US market it is likely that only the top European niche products and development projects will receive funding from US sources. Hence, over time this could lead to cherry picking of European defense technologies, leaving what is left in Europe as a second or third tier of defense technology that by definition will not be cutting edge.

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