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AIRBUS TANKER: Boeing or Bust: Europeans Cry Foul Over a Defense Contract - by Bruce Crumley

The announcement by French aero-defense group EADS that it was pulling out of the bidding process for a $35 billion contract to supply mid-air refueling planes to the Pentagon sent shock waves across Europe this week. EADS, which was partnering in the bid with the U.S. company Northrop Grumman, based its decision on its claim that the competition had been rigged in favor of archrival Boeing — an accusation that spurred charges of unabashed American protectionism in Europe. Now, with both sides digging in their heels, what began as a trans-Atlantic flap over the refueling aircraft business is starting to sound like a full-blown trade war.

The European Commission has warned that it would react sternly to any evidence of American protectionism favoring Boeing in the Pentagon bidding process. And British Business Secretary Peter Mandelson hinted that "the open market to U.S. producers we have in Europe" could be affected if the European Union felt that Americans were refusing to extend similar freedoms to their companies in return. Even some American observers groused that the EADS offer was clearly superior to Boeing's revised bids. U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, a Republican from Alabama, said "the Air Force had a chance to deliver the most capable tanker possible to our war fighters and blew it" by meddling with the process "to produce the best outcome [for Boeing]."

Note EU-Digest: When is the EU going to wake up to the fact that for the US its always a question of "do it my way, or take the highway" ?
For more: Boeing or Bust: Europeans Cry Foul Over a Defense Contract - TIME

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