Wednesday, March 2, 2011

USAF Tanker Award Update 3/2/11 - Boeing Response to Public Reports Regarding the WTO's Interim Decision in DS 353 - Sep 15, 2010

Publisher's note: In light of the recent award to Boeing for the long awaited US AirForce Tanker contract, prompting pro/con comments from industry executives and policy makers involved in the process, we offer an excerpt from a 9 October, 2009 press release...

Boeing 767-derived aerial refueling tanker: Ultimate winner in a hotly contested competition  Image: Boeing Military

Tanker Procurement Process Observations:

"Further commenting on the recent re-release of USAF Tanker competitive requirements after Boeing's successful protest to the GAO against EADS/Airbus, Stokes conveys the viewpoints of several academic, government and industrial associates that the need to preserve C-17 is as critically important as the necessity of having the tanker requirement fulfilled by a true US firm. "'It must be designed, developed, engineered, manufactured and sustained in the United States. This is not jingoism, this is not nationalism, this is not representative of a disturbing naivete as concerns the so-called 'new globality', but rather, a recognition that the country's industrial base must be maintained. Moreover, it must be OWNED and controlled by American firms with a strongly supportive role by the US government as is common practice by other industrialized nations.

"'This is to say, even if the A330-based Tanker were indeed designed, engineered and manufactured here, the question at the end of the day is 'Where does the money go?' Answer: To overseas bank accounts. Also, 'Would there be any guarantees that manufacturing and design would remain on these shores in the event of a global economic schism (again) thereby resulting in calls by company stakeholders to shrink the company's global footprint in the interests of 'fiduciary responsibility?'"

"Based on the recorded activities of international corporations, the answer is no.

"'The idea that obvious illegalities in the form of WTO disallowed EU subsidies designed to give EADS/Airbus ( Northrop-Grumman, with its extraordinary history of aircraft development, is nothing more than, sadly, a front to give the illusion of "Americaness" to their overtures) a competitive advantage in price is dismissed by DoD procurement officers as irrelevant or "having no bearing in the ultimate decision" (paraphrased) is suggesting a departure from logic, reason, conventional wisdom and a complete lack of of understanding that the US defense and industrial bases are one and the same."'

"Stokes suggests a much needed expansion of the DoD's paraphrased assertion that 'we are in pursuit of the best value for the warfighter' would include '...,the American worker and taxpayer.'"

"'To be sure," Stokes further states, ""No other country on earth, neither Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Japan, South Korea, China... no one would give away a core element of its critical industrial base which this Tanker, as built by Boeing with its clearly superior aircraft build skillsets, represents.'"

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