Two senior U.S senators called on Monday for the Defense Department to consider suspending or blocking its ties to a major Canadian weapons contractor that admitted to exporting military software to China in violation of U.S. law.
Pratt and Whitney Canada, which is owned by American defense company United Technologies Corporation (UTC), acknowledged in a settlement a few weeks ago that it and another UTC subsidiary sold computer programs that allegedly could allow China to complete the development of its first attack helicopter.
Senators John McCain and Carl Levin, who sit on the Senate Committee on Armed Services, have reportedly called on the Obama administration to further punish Pratt and Whitney beyond the US$75 million fine already assessed the two companies.
In a letter to both Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the two senators demanded the Pentagon to consider suspending or blocking the subsidiary from participating in U.S. defense contracts.
They say they're concerned that the violations "may have caused significant harm to our national security."
The U.S. division of Pratt and Whitney also happens to be the maker of engines for the F-35 jet fighter.