EU suspicions that the Pentagon gave priority to a US manufacturer's bid for a tanker jet contract over European rivals was a serious matter that would have "consequences", France's minister for Europe, Pierre Lellouche, said on Wednesday.
AFP - Claims the Pentagon skewed bidding rules for a tanker jet contract in favour of an American manufacturer will have serious consequences for EU-US relations, senior French officials said Wednesday.
US aerospace giant Boeing is set to win a 35 billion dollar (26 billion euro) contract to build an aerial refueling tanker plane for the
Both European officials and EADS, which owns planemaker Airbus, claim that the Pentagon altered bidding rules for the contract in order to favour Boeing's all-American offer over the European bid.
A government spokesman added that French President Nicolas Sarkozy will bring up the subject when he visits his
"This is a serious matter," another government member,
"Naturally, we're talking about the arms market, so it's not a classic matter of international law and the World Trade Organisation, but we're going to respond," he said, without saying what France's response would be.
"I can assure you that there will be consequences. The president will act on the matter at the appropriate time. This matter is in no way finished."
Government spokesman and Education Minister Luc Chatel said Sarkozy will have "the chance to discuss this question with President Obama during his visit to the
Lellouche added: "I've always been in favour of a strong
"It's obvious that if we bend to the Pentagon's fait accompli and if no-one says anything, then
The Pentagon insists that the bidding process was fair and that it will buy the aircraft that best fits the needs of the air force for the price.
But the European Commission has protested and a German minister has accused the
Date created : 2010-03-11