A group of local business and political leaders today said Utah stands to lose 600 potential jobs if the U.S. Air Force selects a foreign-based firm to build a new aerial tanker.

The group included Lane Beattie, president and chief executive officer of the Salt Lake Chamber; Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon; Rep. Neil Hansen, D-Ogden; Lorena Riffo-Jensen, chairwoman of the board of the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and Ron Kusina, executive director of the Weber Economic Development Corp.

They contended in a telephone news conference that outsourcing of the $40 billion tanker manufacturing contract to Europe-based EADS rather than Boeing Co. will jeopardize 44,000 potential jobs in the United States. At stake for Utah should Boeing lose its bid are 600 jobs and $22 million in economic impact, the local leaders said.

Boeing suppliers and vendors that would be affected in Utah are Alliant Techsystems, Edo Corp., GSC Foundries, Metric Precision Machine, Moog Inc. and Parker Hannifin, they said.

E-mail: bwallace@desnews.com