Update, July 2: The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming. This Defense News article details plans by a US company to offer a Russian airplane in the KC-X competition.
Photo from Defense News
Talk about a foreign, subsidized airplane….
Here is a good Reuters report about what’s next in the Airbus WTO report.
The EU complaint against Boeing is still in WTO hands; the Interim Report is due July 16. There will be a new round of spin machines.
As far as we’re concerned, there is a pox on both houses…..
From Guy Hicks, VP of corporate communications at EADS North America:
“The Obama Administration and Department of Defense have opposed every attempt to use the ongoing WTO commercial trade dispute to derail the KC-X competition. The only beneficiary of such a noncompetitive action would be the Boeing Company. Everyone else—the warfighter, the taxpayer and 48,000 Americans who stand ready to build the KC-45—would lose. Read more…
Boeing has issued the following statement:
Boeing Calls WTO Ruling a Landmark Decision and Sweeping Legal Victory
- Launch aid for every Airbus program deemed illegal and damaging
- ‘Prohibited’ A380 launch aid must be withdrawn ‘without delay’
- Legal principle set: airplane programs must be funded on commercial terms
- Government funding of Airbus infrastructure and R&D programs also ruled illegal
- More information, including excerpts from the decision, will be available later today at http://www.boeing.com/wto
The 1,038 page Final Report by a three-member panel of the World Trade Organization on the US complaint about illegal subsidies to Airbus was made public today.
Findings and Conclusions: 5 pages, PDF. These are difficult to grasp when taken in isolation of reading the entire report, which at this posting we’ve not done.
The Interim Report was issued in September and the Final Report in March, but these were supposed to be confidential. Riddled with leaks to Airbus and Boeing partisans and promoted in the press as wins and losses by both sides, the public report is the first opportunity to read it for one’s self and draw conclusions.
At 1,038 pages this is going to take a while.
In a pre-release, embargoed press briefing, Airbus and its parent EADS said the appeals by the US and European Union are expected on points each side believes were in error.
Airbus made the point that this panel report has not been adopted by the WTO as fact and therefore any claims by Boeing that this is the final, and actionable, conclusion is misleading. The panel report may be appealed (and will be), after which the WTO appeals panel must decide on these appeals. After this process is done, the WTO itself must accept or reject the report.
With the Pentagon’s announcement this week that a major push has begun to wring costs out of the defense budget, will this macro approach trickle down to one of the largest defense procurements in decades–the KC-X tanker recapitalization?
Remember when Defense awarded Northrop Grumman the KC-X contract in 2008? A key, if not the key, to winning was, “More, more, more.”
Now Ashton Carter, the top procurer in DOD, says “more has been costing more.”
Given one advantage Boeing has over EADS in the current KC-X competition–life cycle and MilCon costs–will “more, more, more” cost EADS the contract?