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It could have been the set of "The Bachelor." Surrounded by lights and cameras, a fabulous catch announces he is willing to be wooed by 50 suitors. The best proposal package — money, connections, looks and compatibility — will win.
But this wasn't reality TV. It was the news conference where EADS, majority owner of Airbus, announced it will begin a year-long, nationwide search for a U.S. location for a 100-person engineering center.
The bigger prize, however, is the 1,000-employee assembly plant EADS says it will build if it is awarded the $25-billion-plus Air Force tanker contract that Boeing won, then saw slip away again.
Longtime Washington lobbyists and analysts are skeptical that Airbus will succeed with its bid for the tankers, but they believe the company has made inroads in Congress with its PR strategy. According to the Center for Public Integrity, EADS' lobbying expenses have jumped from $300,000 to about $1 million a year just since 2002.
Keith Ashdown of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a budget watchdog group, called Airbus' announcement "a brilliant PR ploy. They're following Defense Politics 101."
"They have to look like an American company and like they want to create American jobs. The 50-state search makes a patriotic sound bite and they'll have a year to cozy up to every member of Congress on the relevant committees," he said.
Originally posted by waynos
Yes, god forbid you should buy any aircraft from your allies, after all it is their job to buy them from you isn't it. grrrr
"fall for this scheme"?
It isn't some sort of scam, Airbus, EADS and BAE Systems emply a lot of Americans and have done for decades, this is a way of bringing that to your attention when they are competing for a major contract. It is no different to when Boeing and Lockheed Martin compete for major contracts over here against the European companies, why should you be any different?
Originally posted by djohnsto77
I'd have no problem if Airbus was a real, competitive company, it appears it is not. See FredT's articles.
Originally posted by FredT
I will expect the United Sttes to give the same care and due course when considering buying tanker aircraft that Airbus gave when selecting the engine choice for the A400M transport aircraft.
1) Boeing will be allowed to see the Airbus bid if they come up short
2) Term like comparable technical merit will be bandied about
3) Politicians will use terms like "an USAF tanker should be made in America"
This is exactly how the engine bid for the A400M went against Canada. Now how is it unfair if Boeing and the US government use a page from the Airbus playbook?
Originally posted by waynos
Yes, I've read Fred T's articles and replied to many of them, I accept that Fred and I will always differ on this but it doesn't mean you have to swallow them whole. I don't recall anyone from Airbus getting jailed? How fair and competitive are Boeing then?
Originally posted by Off_The_Street
Airbus Industrie did not bid on the effort. The program was cancelled because John McCain et.al. overrode the Air Force's choice to lease some of the aircraft with an offer to buy because McCain considered the lease a bad financial deal for the US taxpayers.
The US military has put on hold a controversial $18bn deal to buy Boeing tanker aircraft.
The deal has also been scrutinised by the Pentagon following earlier allegations that Ms Druyun had given Boeing access to information concerning a rival bid from Airbus.
The US Defence Department is to launch an investigation into whether Boeing got improper support from its officials to beat European rival Airbus in a multi-billion dollar contract battle, a US senator has said.
The Pentagon's inspector general Joseph Schmitz reportedly told a Congressional Committee on Wednesday that "sufficient credible information exists to warrant the initiation of an investigation".
The allegations - which Boeing reject - stem from a contract, worth at least $22bn (£13.6bn), to provide the US military with refuelling tankers.
Those questions come into sharpest focus in the e-mail that has prompted a Pentagon investigation of whether Boeing illegally gained proprietary information via Air Force employee Darleen Druyun, who now works for Boeing.
"Darleen told us several times to keep in mind that EADS proposed price on green A330 was $5-$17M cheaper than green 767," Boeing lobbyist Andrew Ellis wrote in a memo to Daniels, Boeing senior vice president Rudy DeLeon and others. A "green" aircraft model is a basic plane not yet refitted for refueling. Airbus is a subsidiary of EADS, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co.
ruyun has come under scrutiny recently for her alleged role in Boeing's massive lobbying effort to secure the multi-billion dollar tanker lease. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., a senior Armed Services Committee member and outspoken critic of the deal, obtained from Boeing thousands of internal e-mail exchanges, including some that could implicate Druyun for allegedly mishandling proprietary information belonging to Airbus, Boeing's top European competitor in the global aerospace market.
The Pentagon suspended a controversial 18 billion-dollar tanker lease after it emerged that Boeing's former chief financial officer was in talks with a senior Pentagon official, with responsibility for procurement, about a job at Boeing while the tanker deal was being negotiated.
"We do not believe that any of the alleged ethics breaches involving competitors' proprietary information represent either fundamental flaws or a systemic failure," Rudman, said in a statement.
No doubt some top Boeing executives these days wish they had a reset button to push. The aerospace giant saw its blue-chip reputation and cherished status as an innovator flipped upside down last year. Two of its top executives became entangled in an ethics investigation by the Pentagon, while other employees faced criminal charges involving industrial espionage. The government penalized Boeing by canceling rocket launches valued at about $1 billion and is holding up a $17 billion aerial tanker contract. Furthermore, Boeing infuriated investors with a billion-dollar surprise charge last summer. And underlying this sorry litany was a simpler, larger problem: In 2003, for the first time, Boeing sold fewer planes than the other global aviation superpower, Europe's Airbus Industrie.
Specifically, two Florida lawyers hired to defend Boeing in March 2002 filed a "statement of undisputed facts" that acknowledged the full box of Lockheed data that Rabe had found. They notified Lockheed in November 2001 and sent it 2,700 additional pages of material beyond the 204 Black had returned in 1999.
Suddenly alerted that Boeing had at least 10 times as much confidential Lockheed data as previously acknowledged, Lockheed asked for full disclosure from Black and Valerie Schurman, who was the lead lawyer for all Boeing space and communications businesses at the time. Although the two Boeing attorneys were privy to Rabe's findings from the start, they reiterated that Boeing had turned over everything it had found to Lockheed — about 3,000 pages, or 22,000 pages less than it would turn over in April 2003.
Lockheed's civil suit cites other cases in which Boeing has been sanctioned by the government for possessing a competitor's trade secrets, most notably Raytheon documents related to a competition to build a missile that would destroy enemy warheads in flight. Boeing was forced to withdraw from the competition in December 1998 when the Air Force discovered that the company had improperly obtained and disseminated Raytheon data.
A former senior Air Force official pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy, admitting that she negotiated an executive job at Boeing Co. with her daughter's help while still overseeing a controversial $23 billion deal between the company and the Pentagon.
The US Attorney's office said Druyun had admitted agreeing to a higher price for the 100 Boeing KC 767A tanker aircraft than she believed was appropriate, "in her view as a 'parting gift to Boeing,' and because of her desire to ingratiate herself with her future employer."
It said she had also admitted giving Boeing "what at the time she considered to be proprietary pricing data supplied by another aircraft manufacturer ... negotiating a higher settlement with Boeing for the NATO AWACS program than she believed appropriate," and favoring Boeing in other negotiations in 2000 and 2001.
Originally posted by Countermeasures
European invovlement on Amercan soil isn't necessarely bad, look at Daimler-Chrysler, a pretty succesfull combination, fine cars and good for american jobs.
....I guess with Boeing things are different because they always been are a big supplier for the usa millitary, so there is national pride at stake, but If you don't buy airbus the Chinese probably will, to speed up lifting the arms embargo and get some work outsourced.
[edit on 19-1-2005 by Countermeasures]