Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Berman: House may be “lame” after elections but won’t be paralyzed

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The chairman of the House of Representatives committee on foreign affairs hasn’t lost his sense of humor…yet.

USA/Representative Howard Berman said he has been struggling for 24 years to get Congress to ease up on travel restrictions for Americans who want to go to Cuba. He’s determined to get it through his committee this year, even if it doesn’t happen until after the November election when the lawmakers are in “lame duck” session.

“We’re lame but we’re not paralyzed,” he told the Reuters Washington Summit when asked if it was possible to still get bills out of committee and to the full House for a vote during the time between the November election and the beginning of the new session in January.

Berman said he does not want to bring the topic up for a vote until he knows it can pass. So far, that is apparently not the case.

Shift in power on the horizon in Washington?

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Republicans stand poised to gain substantial influence in Congress, putting at stake billions of dollars in investment as a shift among power brokers throws legislative initiatives old and new into doubt. Reuters Washington Summit will bring together an influential line-up of insiders just weeks before Americans cast their votes, promising a must-read stream of exclusive news on the outlook for Congress and President Barack Obama’s agenda. Editors and correspondents from the Reuters Washington bureau are sitting down with senior lawmakers, including GOP heavyweights in line for leadership, and regulators whose implementation of Wall Street and healthcare reform could be complicated by a change in control on Capitol Hill.

The Summit will generate exclusive stories, investable insights, online videos and blog postings, which will be immediately available only to Thomson Reuters clients during the Summit. Key interviews will air live exclusively on Reuters Insider – a new multimedia platform delivering relevant news, analysis and trade ideas presented through a personalized video experience. Visit http://etv.thomsonreuters.com/

Revealed: Why ‘Conquerors of the Skies’ are homing on Wyoming

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There must be something about Wyoming at this time of year.

BRAZIL/Several participants at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit held in Washington this week said they were heading out West — but declined to say what was taking them so far from hard-nosed airline investors and Pentagon accountants.

But the aviation head honchos tend to shy away from talking about it.

“I like Wyoming very much in the beginning of fall — a beautiful area,” was all we could get from one multinational corporation chief.

L-3 CEO Strianese finds crawling around airplanes fun

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Michael Strianese, President and CEO of L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., is a roll up the sleeves kind of guy who likes nothing better than a close-up look at airplanes and wiring and sensors. And he’s not even an engineer.

“What do I like to do? I like to get down on the factory floor with the guys and crawl around airplanes and look at wiring and figure out how things work. So for somebody with a finance background, I think that surprises people,” he said at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit. AERO-ARMS-SUMMIT/

Divorced defense giants reunited in Reuters office

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It might well have been the business divorce of the year, but it seems there are no hard feelings between the heads of defense contractors Northrop Grumman and jilted European partner EADS. AERO-ARMS-SUMMIT/

The companies had been bidding together to challenge Boeing for a deal worth up to $50 billion to supply aerial tankers to the Air Force. But Northrop pulled out in March leaving EADS, the Franco-German parent company of Airbus, to bid alone.

Northrop Grumman chief sees message in moving HQ to East Coast

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Northrop Grumman CEO and President Wes Bush (no relation to the former president) says there’s a message in moving the company headquarters across the country to a suburb of  Washington from Los Angeles.

“I absolutely believe it’s something that we need to do and will be very good for our company,” Bush said at a Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit. AERO-ARMS-SUMMIT/

Lockheed Martin bracing for a new reality

Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens says despite cost cutting, the defense industry will survive based on new global security needs and adds that Lockheed’s portfolio is well positioned for change.

EADS chief longs for airplane that is no longer

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What would you guess is the airplane that the head of  the company that produces the Airbus longs for?

Think fast and past.

Concorde,” Louis Gallois, EADS Chairman and CEO, says without hesitation. “It’s a dream.”

Boeing Defense President Muilenburg on mixing business with cycling

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Boeing Defense, Space and Security President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg speaks eloquently about defense cycles, but did you know that he is something of a cyclist who typically rides about 100 miles a week?

AERO-ARMS-SUMMIT/The give away was the glowing tan he was sporting when speaking at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit.

Lockheed CEO Stevens says he learns a thing or two from new generation

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Lockheed Martin Corp. CEO Robert Stevens, who turns 59 years old tomorrow, says he learns every day from the new generation at the defense company he heads — although he still doesn’t IM.

AERO-ARMS-SUMMIT/The son of a Pennsylvania steelworker who enlisted in the Marines instead of college, later completing  his education on the GI program, says, “I am one of the luckiest people you are going to meet.”

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