French Giant Allowed to Outdo its American Rival

7 03 2008

Lately, United States diplomacy has been bad-rapped on global scale. This is primarily because of the Bush administration’s war policy. As a result, some U.S. allies had turned to bitching antagonists; e.g. French former president openly criticized U.S. war in Iraq. However, the newly elected French President, Nicolas Sarkozy had normalized U.S – French relationship during a recent visit to United State.

Given the fact that France are among the major opposers of the U. S. war efforts, who would have thought that a French company, Airbus -EADS, would be allowed to bid for a major military contract in U.S. I mean, while the relationship was still strained between the two countries over war in Iraq. Isn’t this an irony? Here is why it is: France did not support United State war efforts and ended up winning one of the most lucrative defense contracts in U.S. history – $37 billion-up deal which could balloon to $100 billion at completion. Adding salt to the injury, this contract was awarded at the expense of an American company, Boeing, one of the most reputable companies on the planet.

I know some would argue that America is free market, which is what capitalism is all about; the foreign companies are involved with U.S. partners, and yari! ya! riya! For instance, today’s New York Times editorial supports the contract, citing backlash from the Europeans if U.S. kill the deal. According to the NY Times, “Boeing claimed that if it had won the contract, it would have created 44,000 jobs in this country. The [Airbus] EADS-Northrop group says its tanker will support [not create] 25,000 jobs here.” Then the editorial concluded that if the deal is prevented “It would also be bad diplomacy and bad business. And that can’t be good for the country.” Sorry Times, that argument is not strong enough to give American jobs away.

Yes, U.S. is open to foreign businesses and that is part of what make this country great. But this is an intelligence (military) contract that should be fully made in America, at least, for security reasons. Besides, it’s about tens of $billions of tax-payers’ money which should remain in the U.S. economy instead of France. In logic, other super powers would not award such contracts such to outsiders except if their indigenous defense contractors are absolutely incompetence. Boeing can have its flaws, tell me which great company wasn’t built on trials and errors. Boeing should have learned some lessons and the company can measure up to Airbus-EADS, if not better.

Clearly, no defense contract in any nation can be awarded without consent from its policy makers. As reported, some powerful politicians, including John McCain, facilitated the deal in favor of the Airbus & Co. One the hand, Senator Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama favor the American Boeing company. I think concurring with the latter makes more economic sense for United States. Senator McCain’s lack of economy knowledge can not be excused, especially in the forthcoming presidential debates.

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The world would be happier if its leaders had more vision and fewer nightmares.” – Vern McLellan (WWQ)

UPDATES: The Fights continue on this contract as of June 18. More reports in the following links:

Audit Says Tanker Deal Is Flawed (NY Times)

McCain: Tanker report unfortunate for taxpayers (NYT)

Boeing wins key round in Air Force tanker protest (AP)

U.S. Auditors Bash Air Force Over Refueling Tanker (Reuters)

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2 responses

11 03 2008
roux2

Do you not realize that Mobile, Alabama (last I looked, it WAS a part of the U.S. although Yanks might disagree) is to be a large part of the manufacturing process?

The interior of the aircraft, including the air refueling system, will be installed at the Northrop-Grumman/EADS plant in Mobile. What makes a tanker a tanker will be done in MOBILE, ALABAMA.

Tell Boeing to go home and quit whining.

14 03 2008
Mak Ossa

Alabama is only one state in U.S. If Boeing get the contract, it would provide as twice the jobs – in 5 states; because with EADs, most of the jobs would be in Europe. Northrop is just a front for outsiders taking American defense jobs. It’s more about security concern here in US.

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