Great news! American company Textron has announced it will end its involvement with cluster munitions. This is wonderful news and truly a victory for the global campaign against cluster munitions showcasing the valuable contribution divestment makes to disarmament. Hopefully, Textron will consider also ending its production of key components for nuclear weapons.
Over the years, PAX has published the “Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions” report, identifying Textron as cluster munition producer. Our 2016 update revealed that worldwide, 49 financial institutions had financial ties to Textron, with a total of US$12370,83 million invested. PAX and campaigners active in the Stop Explosive Investments campaign have engaged tirelessly with many investors over the years to urge them to cease their financial support of Textron. This article’s analysis suggests that pressure from the financial sector has had an effect:
“A Couple of Hidden Positives: On the surface, yesterday’s announcement seems like a non-event, but we come away with two observations that we think investors shouldn’t overlook. First off, we note that SFW served as a product that limited the “ownability” of TXT shares among foreign investment funds, due largely to interpretations of where TXT stood vis-a-vis international weapons treaties. Arguably, the discontinuation of this product line could expand the addressable investor base for TXT shares by a material amount (i.e. most of Europe), in an industrial vertical (A&D) where investable choices are slim but performance has been strong over the years.”
Congratulations to colleagues that have worked tirelessly to end the production and use of cluster munitions. The decision by Textron to stop production demonstrates the valuable link between divestment and disarmament. Read more on the Stop Explosive Investments site.