The administration of President Barack Obama has approved $7 billion in long-stalled sales of Boeing Co. fighter jets to Kuwait and Qatar, a decision that could preserve thousands of jobs in the St. Louis area.
The deal had been delayed for more than two years, amid concerns by Israel that the planes posed a threat to that nation’s security.
But members of Missouri’s congressional delegation had long touted the sale as a jobs boost for the St. Louis region, where F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and F-15 Eagles are produced.
Boeing employs nearly 15,000 people in the St. Louis area. Boeing has never specified the number employed on the fighter programs, but it reaches several thousand.
The approval of the fighter jet sales comes as the White House tries to bolster relations with Persian Gulf Arab allies who want to upgrade their military capabilities.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch