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skeptic
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Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:46 am

there are separate threads on the big tanker announcement earlier today. perhaps it will be challenged by Boeing, but clearly the USAF did its homework, and presumably conducted a process that can stand up to scrutiny. so going forward, a huge multiyear DOD contract -- larger than the annual defense budget of most NATO allies -- will be going to a "consortium" that is build around a European aircraft built by EADS and its subsidiary Airbus. Coming off of a series of other high-profile DOD acquisitions that were based on EU products, one can say that the trend has been toward significantly greater EU access to the US defense market, even at the expense of viable, competing US product. Irrespective of how observers may feel about that, it's a demonstrated fact.

meanwhile, the US defense majors face a more complicated situation in Europe. The UK market is largely open, and the smaller EU countries, with a limited defense base of their own, frequently resist political pressure to buy from other European countries (often meaning French or German) and instead purchase American products. The biggest problem markets are France and Germany -- ironically the same countries that are the home to EADS and are the big beneficiaries of today's tanker announcement. It's widely recognized that they generally buy US product only when they have no viable domestic competitor. Even when no homegrown competitor exists, their preference is often to develop one rather than buy a US product. moreover, france and germany are generally in the forefront of efforts to throw up a wall around the EU and pressure other EU countries into buying their products, or to skew or slow NATO acquisition programs to prevent US products from gaining a foothold in EU markets.

clearly that kind of protectionism will be politically untenable going forward, with the US taxpayer paying billions of dollars for what is essentially an EADS aircraft. So the question is, what concrete steps should the U.S. demand to ensure comparable fair access to the French, German and pan-European defense markets? Are there specific upcoming acquisitions -- in France, Germany, or NATO -- that should be regarded as a litmus test of whether the EADS countries are prepared to offer the same openness they have enjoyed in the US tanker deal (i.e., not just to buy US product but to select it over competing domestic product)? Are there institutional arrangements that should be addressed -- e.g., a meaningful place at the table for US companies at OCCAR, or some kind of binding agreement by France and Germany to refrain from last-minute political intervention in defense acquisitions, or a binding agreement not to block US defense acquisitions in France and Germany (which for now are streng verboten, despite EADS aspirations to make defense acquisitions in the US)? How can the US leverage this tanker acquisition process into something that breaks down protectionism on both sides of the Atlantic?

(BTW, if you're tempted to chime in and say "but the British market is open" or "the Netherlands buys a lot of US defense tech" -- yes, fine, agree, but that's not the point -- this thread is about France and Germany, and also their efforts in the pan-European sphere.)
 
Acheron
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:29 am

You have bases over there, most of the European airforces use F-16 and some of the new members are buying F-16's too. Then some of said contries are going to buy the F-35. France has a fleet of american built tankers and AWACs.
Not to mention the shitload of ground equipment of american origin.

To be honest, I believe that Europe uses more american-made equipment than the US uses european-made equipment, so what more reciprocity you do want?.


Then, with the logic behind the ridiculous bickering, other countries should ask for reciprocity everytime they go american. For example, if the US gets the India MRCA contratc, then the US should buy some Indian out of reciprocity.
 
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:00 am

Strong F-35 sales to Europe, as well as ensuring that future KC-330/A330F production is in Mobile would be a good start.
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:05 am

Considering all the delays in the A400M program, NATO and various European air forces should probably order some C-17's.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:09 am



Quoting Acheron (Reply 1):
Then, with the logic behind the ridiculous bickering, other countries should ask for reciprocity everytime they go american. For example, if the US gets the India MRCA contratc, then the US should buy some Indian out of reciprocity.

Actually, this is already the case. The winning bidder for India's fighter RFP must form partnerships with Indian companies that will get orders equal to half the value of the contract. This is why Boeing just signed that large contract with some Indian subcontractors.
 
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:53 am

I have not heard of any international off sets required by the KC-45 contract.

I doubt there can be any, since final assembly is already in the US, and 52% of the airplane is already built here, engines, refueling equipment, military avionics, rendvious equipment/beacons, etc.
 
TristarAtLCA
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 9:14 am

After having read all the posts on this topic, I am a little non-plussed by it all. A clearly superior product won the backing of the USAF (More passengers, more cargo, more fuel to offload, more patients that we can carry, more availability, more flexibility and more dependability," said Gen Arthur J Lichte) and it appears EADS/NG bent over backwards to appease the US in terms of assembly.

If you have a problem with France or Germany, take it up with their governments and defence departments. Their 'pan-european efforts' did not dissuade euro nations from purchasing US equipment i.e Italy KC-767, UK Apache's, Poland F-16 to name a few when there was other non-US manufactured options available in addition to the list of nations who want the JSF as their future defence aircraft. I, as a UK citizen, don't want the A400M as I feel the C-17 far superior. We don't always get what we want. Sorry.

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bennett123
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:36 am

I understood that there were JSF issues relating to access to Computer codes concerning integration of alternative equipment with the base line F35. I think that these were satisfied.
 
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:55 am



Quoting FlyingClrs727 (Reply 3):
Considering all the delays in the A400M program, NATO and various European air forces should probably order some C-17's.

I agree, but this won't happen. About reciprocity, bear in mind that Europe has bought billions of US equipment for many, many decades. This is probably the first time where a big deal went the other way around. Also, in fact you get a lot back, in fact, Airbus gets even more American than they already are (many parts of Airbus are from the US already).

Therefore, I think this tanke decision should not be seen as a gigantic tax payer job transfer to Europe, because this is not the case.

I do expect that the decision will favour the US side in the WTO controversy, however.
 
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:16 pm

I hope that the outcome of KC-X sets a precedent for more open and transparent competitions on both sides of the Atlantic. The key to the future will be to have transatlantically integrated defense companies, as BAE is doing (with great success), and EADS is going to do.

The EU has "bought American" for decades without asking for direct industrial investment in return. Probably, LM and Boeing will have to invest in European sites if they want to get a good chance on future European defense contracts, just like EADS has done in Alabama.
 
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:44 pm



Quoting Acheron (Reply 1):
To be honest, I believe that Europe uses more american-made equipment than the US uses european-made equipment, so what more reciprocity you do want?.

 checkmark  The US has a huge 'trade surplus' in trading defense goods with Europe. The KC-30 deal won't come anywere near of tipping the balance, not even if the Air Force bought a thousand.
 
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:46 pm

This topic is silly. It's not about the balance of trade, it's about getting the best tools for the job!

Despite what many of us (myself included) thought, Boeing just didn't have the product the USAF wanted to buy, NG/EADS did. Presuming it was a fair competition, that's the end of the story. No bones tossed to Boeing, no insistence that EU nations buy American stuff they wouldn't be buying otherwise. Period.
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atmx2000
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:20 pm



Quoting Acheron (Reply 1):
Then, with the logic behind the ridiculous bickering, other countries should ask for reciprocity everytime they go american. For example, if the US gets the India MRCA contratc, then the US should buy some Indian out of reciprocity.

India gets offsets plus tech transfer.

Quoting R2rho (Reply 9):
The EU has "bought American" for decades without asking for direct industrial investment in return. Probably, LM and Boeing will have to invest in European sites if they want to get a good chance on future European defense contracts, just like EADS has done in Alabama.

F16 manufacturing sites for European orders were located in the ordering countries. Offsets seem to have been offered for many European purchases of US products.

Quoting Acheron (Reply 1):
You have bases over there, most of the European airforces use F-16 and some of the new members are buying F-16's too. Then some of said contries are going to buy the F-35. France has a fleet of american built tankers and AWACs.
Not to mention the shitload of ground equipment of american origin.

France buys specialty equipment they can't afford to develop on their own. And bases in Europe funded by the US cost us money and reduce European defense expenditures.

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 8):
I do expect that the decision will favour the US side in the WTO controversy, however.

No it won't, because defense goods are off limits in the WTO. The only times they have ever been an issue was when a defense program was used to fund a commercial program without significant miltary purchases resulting.

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 8):
I agree, but this won't happen. About reciprocity, bear in mind that Europe has bought billions of US equipment for many, many decades. This is probably the first time where a big deal went the other way around. Also, in fact you get a lot back, in fact, Airbus gets even more American than they already are (many parts of Airbus are from the US already).

And the US spent at least a couple of trillion dollars on European defense.

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 10):
   The US has a huge 'trade surplus' in trading defense goods with Europe. The KC-30 deal won't come anywere near of tipping the balance, not even if the Air Force bought a thousand.

Spending money on equipment that will be used for primarily for European defense should be considered a transfer of wealth to Europe. In that sense the US has never ran a trade surplus on defense goods with Europe. Financially, the US would have been better off never having participated in NATO and letting Europe pay for its own defense even if that meant no arms purchases from Europe.
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:38 pm

How about a larger commitment to Afghanistan from NATO;

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/feb/11/afghanistan
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cloudy
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:05 pm

The payoff to the US will be better defense products. This deal will be a shock to our defense contractors and will improve their efficiency and competitiveness. It is thought by the majority of economists that it is best not to have trade barriers, even if one's trading partners do have them.
 
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:09 pm



Quoting FlyingClrs727 (Reply 3):
Considering all the delays in the A400M program, NATO and various European air forces should probably order some C-17's.

If that is the case, I'm sure there would be more understanding and less of ...  hissyfit  on the part of Europeans than how the Americans are acting towards the Tanker-deal news these days ...
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MCIGuy
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:12 pm

Like I said, I don't think this is over by a longshot. The US media is making a much bigger deal of this than I would have thought so it's definitely under public scrutiny right now.

[Edited 2008-03-01 09:13:10]
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:20 pm

I hope it is clear to everybody that:
- all KC-45A will be assembled in Mobile (Al),
- all other A330MRTT will also be assembled in Mobile (AUS, UK, Saudi, UAE so far),
- all A330F will be assembled in Mobile (as pledged by EADS/Airbus). The backload so far is 72 units.
So obviously, American workers get more in their hands than the KC-45A only.
 
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:22 pm



Quoting Breiz (Reply 17):
- all other A330MRTT will also be assembled in Mobile (AUS, UK, Saudi, UAE so far),

Where has this been confirmed?
 
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:48 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 18):
Quoting Breiz (Reply 17):
- all other A330MRTT will also be assembled in Mobile (AUS, UK, Saudi, UAE so far),

Where has this been confirmed?

In the latest press release issued by EADS (dated Feb. 29th, 2008):
"Preparatory work is now underway for our commitment to co-locate the final assembly of the tankers and A330 civilian freighter aircraft at Mobile, Alabama..."
http://www.eads.net/1024/en/pressdb/...ssdb/EADS/20080229_eads_kc-30.html
It would not really make sense to have two assembly lines for the tankers.
 
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sun Mar 02, 2008 12:01 am



Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 12):
France buys specialty equipment they can't afford to develop on their own. And bases in Europe funded by the US cost us money and reduce European defense expenditures.

Of course they cost you money, they're your bases and you want them there to play the world's self-appointed policeman.
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sun Mar 02, 2008 12:06 am



Quoting Skeptic (Thread starter):
So the question is, what concrete steps should the U.S. demand to ensure comparable fair access to the French, German and pan-European defense markets?

Why should there be 'automatic' reciprocity when Europe has spent billions on US defence products for decades, and particularly when a superior product won the bid.......and you talk about protectionism???? With all due respect, and no offence whatever intended, but the days are gone when the US can DEMAND anything throughout the world
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sun Mar 02, 2008 12:19 am



Quoting R2rho (Reply 9):
The EU has "bought American" for decades without asking for direct industrial investment in return. Probably, LM and Boeing will have to invest in European sites if they want to get a good chance on future European defense contracts, just like EADS has done in Alabama.

I was always under the impression that the Sikorsky helicopters F-16 and other US equipment manufactured in Europe was done as a trade offset, and would not have been purchased otherwise, correct me if I'm wrong but technology sharing is the biggest hang up right now about the F-35 right, Europe wants to ensure that their next generation fighter will build upon the technology transfer from the F-35, why else would it be a sticking point?
Now the US is getting EADS technology because some of the tankers will be built in the US, problem is that the technology is 20 years old, the F-35 is current, so the offset here is pretty much one sided.

I won't get in on the US bases in Europe, will simply say, that if the US military would force all it's personnel to stay on base, shop in the on base PX stores rather than contribute to the economy of the host countries other than the rent / lease that they pay this could be a legitmate discussion.

PS: Why exactly did the Europeans have some say in the sign off on the Boeing MDD merger?
 
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:52 pm

T-33, F-84, RF-84, F-86, F-94, F-100, Crusader, F-111, F-104, F-4, F-16, F-18, F-35...
C-130, C-17,
Neptune, Orion, KC-135, Hawkeye, AWACS...
...and a load of helicopters
on one side,
and on the other :
Canberra, Harrier, Hawk Trainer, now the Spartan...
(I probably forgot a few...)

and some have the gall to clamour for reciprocity ?

As for the German, the programs they've participated in as partners have put them back into the forefront of aviation technology : the Transall, Atlantic, AlphaJet, Tornado, Eurofighter, A-400M (not counting Airbus)... So it was/is a matter of survival in a competitive world and the products they got, thank you very much, fit their requirements.
The French on the other hand have a definite fondness for independance : We learned as early as 1944 that alliances are generally not understood between equals but between dominants and vassals, so we developped our own weaponry, only relying on others for off-the-shelf products that are not economical to develop with our own means : i.e the market for ship-borne specialised aircraft, tankers and airborne radars.
In my opinion, we didn't do too badly.
Finally, I couldn't care less about the choice of the KC-30 by the US air force. I'm only amused by the fits of bigotry, xenophobia and chauvinism that have surfaced.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose ! (in other words, SNAFU as usual !)
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:03 pm



Quoting Pihero (Reply 23):
Finally, I couldn't care less about the choice of the KC-30 by the US air force. I'm only amused by the fits of bigotry, xenophobia and chauvinism that have surfaced.

I'm just amused by this whole silly thread. So many people that complain about EU taxpayers subsidising EADS/Airbus are now saying EU taxpayers should be subsidising US defense contractors too. Any EU taxpayers willing to subsidise me, feel free to send me a PM, and I'll send you my postal address!

As you say:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 23):
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose ! (in other words, SNAFU as usual !)

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Stitch
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:38 pm



Quoting Par13del (Reply 22):
PS: Why exactly did the Europeans have some say in the sign off on the Boeing MDD merger?

I guess it was required in order to sell products to the EU? They just threw up a slew of objections to the TomTom / TeleAtlas GPS deal.
 
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:57 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 25):
I guess it was required in order to sell products to the EU? They just threw up a slew of objections to the TomTom / TeleAtlas GPS deal.

I wish the EU had been there to block Exxon/Mobile or Chevron/Texaco. Rockefeller must be laughing from his grave.
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:22 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
I wish the EU had been there to block Exxon/Mobile or Chevron/Texaco. Rockefeller must be laughing from his grave.

Yeah well they had British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell to protect themselves...
 
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par13del
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:34 am



Quoting Stitch (Reply 27):
Yeah well they had British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell to protect themselves...

On your side of the pond its BP Stitch.
 
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:03 am



Quoting TristarAtLCA (Reply 6):
More passengers, more cargo,... more patients that we can carry

None of those are KC-135 missions. And thats why many people are upset. The Airbus was marketing all these things as a huge benefit over the 767 when in reality the US does not use tankers as cargo planes/troop transports. I've heard the number is about 2% of KC-135 missions are used for cargo. And that number as well as my other statements have been made by actual KC-135 flight crew members here on this site.
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:21 am



Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 29):
None of those are KC-135 missions. And thats why many people are upset.

Sorry FlyUSCG, but I doubt that virtually anyone is upset due to these reasons. But even when you compare typical KC-135 missions, the KC-45 is still superior in almost all areas i.e fuel capacity, take off performance etc. Boeing fielded an inferior product. The USAF obviously concurred and selected the same tanker as the other four nations who had tanker replacement needs, albeit on a far, far smaller scale. I just don't understand what the big deal is.
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skeptic
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:39 am



Quoting Pihero (Reply 23):
As for the German, the programs they've participated in as partners have put them back into the forefront of aviation technology : the Transall, Atlantic, AlphaJet, Tornado, Eurofighter, A-400M (not counting Airbus)... So it was/is a matter of survival in a competitive world and the products they got, thank you very much, fit their requirements.
The French on the other hand have a definite fondness for independance : We learned as early as 1944 that alliances are generally not understood between equals but between dominants and vassals, so we developped our own weaponry, only relying on others for off-the-shelf products that are not economical to develop with our own means : i.e the market for ship-borne specialised aircraft, tankers and airborne radars.
In my opinion, we didn't do too badly.
Finally, I couldn't care less about the choice of the KC-30 by the US air force. I'm only amused by the fits of bigotry, xenophobia and chauvinism that have surfaced.

This is revealing, if unintentionally so. Pihero seems to be acknowledging that while EADS and its lobbyists are prepared to make the free market/open competition argument to win sales in the US, the French (as a matter of national strategy) and the Germans (as a matter of industrial policy) intend to continue protecting their own defense aerospace markets. These are usually the dark secrets that everyone knows but no one acknowledges -- nice to see some candor for a change.

Problem is, if the French/German position toward defense trade with the US is "what's ours is ours, and what's yours we'll compete for," then giving a huge US contract like this to a Franco-German company, and its facilities, will be politically untenable in the US. If Boeing can argue to Congress "we will never have any fair opportunity to compete with EADS or other domestic companies in the French and German defense markets" -- and Pihero's language reinforces that point -- that will enable Boeing's champions to make the case that the USAF has been insufficiently attentive to the issue of reciprocity (which is the cornerstone of global trade policy, Pihero's assertion of an exception francais notwithstanding) and US legislators need to intervene in the deal to ensure broader US interests are considered.

Thanks Pihero, for proving my point.
 
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:56 am



Quoting TristarAtLCA (Reply 30):
I just don't understand what the big deal is.

Skeptic, in the post below, describes "what the big deal is" quite nicely.

Quoting Skeptic (Reply 31):
This is revealing, if unintentionally so. Pihero seems to be acknowledging that while EADS and its lobbyists are prepared to make the free market/open competition argument to win sales in the US, the French (as a matter of national strategy) and the Germans (as a matter of industrial policy) intend to continue protecting their own defense aerospace markets. These are usually the dark secrets that everyone knows but no one acknowledges -- nice to see some candor for a change.

Problem is, if the French/German position toward defense trade with the US is "what's ours is ours, and what's yours we'll compete for," then giving a huge US contract like this to a Franco-German company, and its facilities, will be politically untenable in the US. If Boeing can argue to Congress "we will never have any fair opportunity to compete with EADS or other domestic companies in the French and German defense markets" -- and Pihero's language reinforces that point -- that will enable Boeing's champions to make the case that the USAF has been insufficiently attentive to the issue of reciprocity (which is the cornerstone of global trade policy, Pihero's assertion of an exception francais notwithstanding) and US legislators need to intervene in the deal to ensure broader US interests are considered.

Thanks Pihero, for proving my point.

This is exactly what Boeing backers will drive home with Congress. It isn't a level playing field.

I know that EU government subsidy of Airbus was essential to Airbus' early success, and I don't find fault with that action. But times have changed. As Skeptic points out, the next time there is a large procurement at issue, Congress will indeed - if not force outright - the Air Force to handicap any proposed bid that comes from a company that receives what Congress determines is unfair government support.

I doubt that this particular procurement will be derailed. And I hope it doesn't. What has to happen in the future, however, is the end of Airbus getting financial aid from EU government coffers.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:26 am



Quoting Halls120 (Reply 32):
I doubt that this particular procurement will be derailed. And I hope it doesn't. What has to happen in the future, however, is the end of Airbus getting financial aid from EU government coffers.

I think this contract will be the final nail in the coffin of the contentious issue of "repayable loans". As the old adage goes, "when one door closes then another one opens" is applicable here. Boeing may have lost a huge defense opportunity, but they will be almost assured of getting the level playing field they have pined for. EADS/Airbus got a huge coup with the KC-45 and now they will be forced to play by the big boys' rules. I suspect while they were patting each other on the back in Toulouse on Friday they must've also had the "deer in the headlights" look on their faces at the same time knowing what the future portends for them for new projects via financial requirements.
A government big enough to take away a constitutionally guaranteed right is a government big enough to take away any guaranteed right. A government big enough to give you everything you need is a government big enough to take away everything you have.
 
TristarAtLCA
Posts: 636
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:59 am

No he does not explain it. In essence it is an eloquent rant because France and Germany do not usually purchase US made defence products to protect their native defence or industrial policies unless they have to and how his US tax dollars are being sent to a Franco-German company. I would maybe be more receptive if the US frontline inventory, apart from the Harrier, was populated with a mixture of US/non-US aircraft, but it's not, is it? Was there a snowball in hells chance of a non-US aircraft appearing in the USAF in a key primary role (Harrier excepted)?

Quoting Skeptic (Reply 31):
These are usually the dark secrets that everyone knows but no one acknowledges

Yep.

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 32):
It isn't a level playing field.

Correct.

The US has been a closed shop to most of the worlds defence manufacturers for a long time. I know some foreign equipment has been purchased but the vast bulk of US equipment is US made. But of course, in this instance, that is irrelevant as it counters your argument. Do you believe that this bias in the US armed forces is coincidence or the US protecting it's industrial base and national interest. Your argument collapses because the US cannot stand up to the same scrutiny which Skeptic judges the Franco-German alliance with.

NB - You may note I am in the UK and it is 4am. Please do not feel it rude if I don't respond until tomorrow (today).
If you was right..................I'd agree with you
 
halls120
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:25 am



Quoting TristarAtLCA (Reply 34):
Do you believe that this bias in the US armed forces is coincidence or the US protecting it's industrial base and national interest.

What I believe is immaterial. What matters is what Congress thinks, because they control the purse strings.

You are partially correct that the US defense market has been a relatively closed shop. But that doesn't bother me. Likewise, it wouldn't bother me if EU countries wanted to be a closed shop. You cannot compare government purchasing decisions with private industry purchasing decisions.

If Boeing can convince Congress that EADS/Airbus enjoys a hidden subsidy thanks to its governmental support, Congress will likely make sure that the next large scale aircraft procurement will be weighted towards an aircraft from a US owned company, not a badged over non US product.

I'm not saying it's "right," just predicting a potential outcome.

Quoting TristarAtLCA (Reply 34):
You may note I am in the UK and it is 4am. Please do not feel it rude if I don't respond until tomorrow (today).

Wow, get some sleep!
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
halls120
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:37 am



Quoting TristarAtLCA (Reply 34):
Your argument collapses because the US cannot stand up to the same scrutiny which Skeptic judges the Franco-German alliance with.

One additional point.

I just read statements of congratulations to EADS/Airbus from the leaders of Germany and France for winning the contract.

Someone really should have told them that wasn't the brightest thing to do. All that will do is add fuel to the fire when Congress calls DoD and the Air Force up to the Hill.

I could be wrong, but I don't believe our Presidents issue public statements congratulating the [insert name of US company here] when they win a foreign contract.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
TristarAtLCA
Posts: 636
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:16 pm

RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:17 am



Quoting Halls120 (Reply 35):
Wow, get some sleep!

Would love to. Unfortuneatley six fire engines have just arrived to put out a garage fire across the street. Six !!

So lets continue....

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 35):
What I believe is immaterial.

But you have an opinion?

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 35):
Likewise, it wouldn't bother me if EU countries wanted to be a closed shop.

Contrary to your support of Skeptics stance.

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 35):
You cannot compare government purchasing decisions with private industry purchasing decisions.

Normally yes. But with defence the line is slightly more blurred. It is an open fact that BAE Systems have huge political pull in the UK. I can't comment on the US situation but I doubt it is dissimilar.

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 35):
If Boeing can convince Congress that EADS/Airbus enjoys a hidden subsidy thanks to its governmental support

Well I am sure they can. Except the guy from Alabama !!
If you was right..................I'd agree with you
 
wvsuperhornet
Posts: 517
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:26 am



Quoting Acheron (Reply 1):
You have bases over there, most of the European airforces use F-16 and some of the new members are buying F-16's too. Then some of said contries are going to buy the F-35. France has a fleet of american built tankers and AWACs.
Not to mention the shitload of ground equipment of american origin.

To be honest, I believe that Europe uses more american-made equipment than the US uses european-made equipment, so what more reciprocity you do want?.


Then, with the logic behind the ridiculous bickering, other countries should ask for reciprocity everytime they go american. For example, if the US gets the India MRCA contratc, then the US should buy some Indian out of reciprocity.

I agree I see no need for the boeing supporters to panic, and I am one of them. Boeing is in no danger of going under because of the loss of the tanker contract. Most of the new tanker will be made in the US anyway creating jobs. Europe does use more american products than its own, so its no big deal. Boing will get other contracts.
 
TristarAtLCA
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Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:16 pm

RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:33 am



Quoting Halls120 (Reply 36):
I just read statements of congratulations to EADS/Airbus from the leaders of Germany and France for winning the contract.

Obviously done to spite you. I cannot believe their response was not ' No, we do not sell $40bn worth of our fine european engineering to the Americans. No never.' Unfortunately this happens more than you may think in Europe. Did you catch the launch of the A380? It was cringeworthy.

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 36):
Someone really should have told them that wasn't the brightest thing to do. All that will do is add fuel to the fire when Congress calls DoD and the Air Force up to the Hill.

Yes. They will scream 'why did you pick the superior plane' and 'why did you not tell two heads of state to shut up and not congratulate the winning bidders'. Honestly, I am with you on this.

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 36):
I could be wrong, but I don't believe our Presidents issue public statements congratulating the [insert name of US company here] when they win a foreign contract.

The problem is he would congratulate 'insert name of US company here'.

Sorry. Cheap shot. Very tired.

Speak later
If you was right..................I'd agree with you
 
cpd
Posts: 6674
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:57 am

What this deal will do is expose the electioneering and political stunts of all governors and presidential candidates.

If the Defence people have truly done their homework and evaluated all the aircraft in a transparent, unbiased way - there can be no reasonable interference, especially from grand-standing politicians who are trying to win votes. There is no way this request for proposals / tenders will have been handled in anything other than the most ethical way, because the result had the potential to be so politically explosive.

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 35):

What I believe is immaterial. What matters is what Congress thinks, because they control the purse strings.

What matters here is that politicians can be trusted to look after getting votes, rather than doing what is ethical and best for the nation.

The people of your defence forces should always get the best equipment, regardless of where it comes from. This will also come as a big wake up call for traditional defence contractors, that they won't automatically be gifted deals because they are natives, they'll have to really provide the best product.
 
skeptic
Topic Author
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:31 am



Quoting TristarAtLCA (Reply 34):
The US has been a closed shop to most of the worlds defence manufacturers for a long time. I know some foreign equipment has been purchased but the vast bulk of US equipment is US made. But of course, in this instance, that is irrelevant as it counters your argument. Do you believe that this bias in the US armed forces is coincidence or the US protecting it's industrial base and national interest. Your argument collapses because the US cannot stand up to the same scrutiny which Skeptic judges the Franco-German alliance with.

I think your analysis is a little dated. It's true that for many years the US defence market was largely a closed shop to foreign manufacturers (both as a matter of policy, and because thanks to high defense spending, the US had a very competitive industry). But that has changed dramatically in recent years. EADS just won the huge tanker competition (the second largest DOD acquisition in US history), Agusta-Westland's product won the high-visibility Marine One competition, BAE famously now sells more to DOD than to the UK Ministry of Defense. And within the past couple of years there have been very significant DOD acquisitions of European helicopters, and light cargo aircraft, and more. Empirically, the trendlines toward significantly greater EU participation in US defense procurement are undeniable.

The concern is that the trendlines are not universally going in the same direction on the other side of the Atlantic. The two largest defense markets of continental Europe, France and Germany, remain largely closed to US products that compete with homegrown products. Their local champion EADS proclaims its desire to make a big US acquisition that will enable it to compete more effectively for DOD contracts; but in recent years France and Germany have tightened the restrictions on foreign acquisitions of their own defense suppliers, making it unlikely that a U.S. company could make a comparable acquisition in those countries (remember when GE wanted to buy Snecma a few years ago?). More broadly, they are trying to create a European procurement model that has at its core keeping competitive US products out of Europe. For the A400M, European governments led by France and Germany insisted on a European developed aircraft, eased US companies out of major roles on the project, intervened to prevent US companies like Pratt from winning important supplier contracts on the deal, and then worked to ensure that NATO members would not commit to the competing US C-17. That's a lucrative model for EADS in Europe (or at least it was until the project encountered industrial difficulties), but it's the antithesis of the open competition process that opened up opportunities in the U.S. for EADS on the KC-45.

If these trendlines continue to go in different directions, it probably will be self-correcting. If core European markets remain protected, or grow more so, I suspect it will become politically impossible for the U.S. to continue offering companies from those jurisdictions -- like EADS -- expanding access to DOD procurement. Hopefully a solution that creates greater competitive opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic will be found.
 
Pihero
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 5:11 am

RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:43 am



Quoting Skeptic (Reply 31):
This is revealing, if unintentionally so. Pihero seems to be acknowledging that while EADS and its lobbyists are prepared to make the free market/open competition argument to win sales in the US, the French (as a matter of national strategy) and the Germans (as a matter of industrial policy) intend to continue protecting their own defense aerospace markets.

I know exactly what I wrote and I usually do not shy from straight talking.
Unfortunately, all this argument is about politics and politics alone. The day the US will consider their allies as °partners° instead of vassals, things will change and maybe we'll have a true transatlantic defence / procurement policy ; the day the US stops using its political might to prevent the sales of °foreign° armament systems will be the day we'll think that there is change in the air. Closing down the European part of "Echelon" would be a nice start.
Apparently memories are very short across the pond : Germany was considered the best ally of the US, the Luftwaffe was ,outside the US, the greatest display of American weaponry...until the fiasco of the F-104G, chosen over some European competitors. And you wonder why they could think of developing - in partnership with European countries - the Tornado ? And as the result, both in operational terms and in technology know-how wasn't so bad, they went on with the Eurofighter... I could go on and on...On this subject, there is an aside : Why develop a brand new engine for the A-400M when there is one available in America ? Simple, to avoid some very real possibility of a US embargo on the sales of the so-equipped airplane (examples abound) and develop a power plant that could be used elsewhere, either industrially or for military purposes ( I heard there is quite a market in naval products, too ).
As for protecting one's own defence market, why is it ok for the US and not for other countries ? Another case for the goose and the gander ?

Quoting Skeptic (Reply 31):
Pihero's assertion of an exception francais

The "exception française" is the result of the "privileged alliance" with the UK, when Her Majesty's government could have access to all defence technology of the US (including atomic weaponry, submarines and Polaris launchers...) and Germany wasn't treated as a real ally. That left France to develop a strategy that suited its defence commitments in which, by the way NATO wanted no part at all ( Africa is one example of this aspect).
As a conclusion, I think that, against most of my American friends - I have many -, the transatlantic defence procurement has been very much a one-way street.
It is great time we all start thinking of a new EU / US partnership and how to implement it. I just heard that °cold war II° is just about to begin. The stakes seem to be higher this time.

Regards
Contrail designer
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:45 pm



Quoting TristarAtLCA (Reply 37):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 35):
Wow, get some sleep!

Would love to. Unfortuneatley six fire engines have just arrived to put out a garage fire across the street. Six !!

I'm sure your firemen are like ours - bored most of the time, so when there is a real fire, they all descend on the scene!

Quoting TristarAtLCA (Reply 37):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 35):
What I believe is immaterial.

But you have an opinion?

For many years, Congress prevented the military from buying overseas. Most recently, in the 90's the Coast Guard deperately needed a new icebreaker in the Great Lakes. Canada had one for sale. The Coast Guard tried to buy it, and Congress came down on them like a ton of bricks, saying how dare you not build an icebreaker in America.

I'm sure that the Air Force wants the best product available, regardless of source. OTOH, DoD has a vested interest in making sure there is a viable industrial base in this country.

I'm with the Air Force, with the exception that the relationship must be a two way street. If we open up our defense procurement, so must the EU countries.

And I know about the imbalance in the past. That argument runs flat when a politician is under pressure to ensure that our government isn't outsourcing valuable defense jobs.

Quoting TristarAtLCA (Reply 37):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 35):
Likewise, it wouldn't bother me if EU countries wanted to be a closed shop.

Contrary to your support of Skeptics stance.

True. I should have noted that I'm not in 100% agreement with his position.

Quoting TristarAtLCA (Reply 37):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 35):
You cannot compare government purchasing decisions with private industry purchasing decisions.

Normally yes. But with defence the line is slightly more blurred. It is an open fact that BAE Systems have huge political pull in the UK. I can't comment on the US situation but I doubt it is dissimilar.

We simply don't have the same relationship between government and industry that exists in the EU.

Quoting TristarAtLCA (Reply 39):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 36):
I just read statements of congratulations to EADS/Airbus from the leaders of Germany and France for winning the contract.

Obviously done to spite you. I cannot believe their response was not ' No, we do not sell $40bn worth of our fine european engineering to the Americans. No never.' Unfortunately this happens more than you may think in Europe. Did you catch the launch of the A380? It was cringeworthy.

It wasn't done to spite anybody. It was simply very ill-advised, because it highlights the fact that the links between Airbus and their supporting/sponsoring governments are markedly different than the situation in the US.

Quoting TristarAtLCA (Reply 39):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 36):
I could be wrong, but I don't believe our Presidents issue public statements congratulating the [insert name of US company here] when they win a foreign contract.

The problem is he would congratulate 'insert name of US company here'.

No, he/she would not. I can't think of ever reading a news article to that effect.

Quoting Cpd (Reply 40):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 35):

What I believe is immaterial. What matters is what Congress thinks, because they control the purse strings.

What matters here is that politicians can be trusted to look after getting votes, rather than doing what is ethical and best for the nation.

Yep. Typical Capitol Hill BS.

Quoting Skeptic (Reply 41):
More broadly, they are trying to create a European procurement model that has at its core keeping competitive US products out of Europe.

Whether or not they will be able to this - or if that is even their goal - that is exactly the argument that will resonate on Capitol Hill unless the EU does something to indicate otherwise.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
Pihero
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:05 pm



Quoting Halls120 (Reply 43):
And I know about the imbalance in the past.

OK, let's talk about it in the present.
Contrail designer
 
wingman
Posts: 4033
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:48 pm

We're not talking about Europe here, we're talking about France and Germany. Neither country has purchased a major, let alone fundamental cornerstone, military program from the US in over 30 years. Either that changes right now or every sensible American fights as hard as they can to scrap this deal. France and Germany want a ludicrous trade surplus with the US and now also a ludicrous military surplus? We can't afford this any longer. You guys need to buy 40 C-17s or the equivalent each or have AF and LH buy 50 787s apiece. I simply cannot fathom how US taxpayers and politicians tolerate this imbalance any longer.
 
TristarAtLCA
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:56 pm

Where do I start.

Skeptic.

Quoting Skeptic (Reply 41):
I think your analysis is a little dated.

I don't beleive it is when I look at the US inventory. Apart from the KC-45 which does not enter service for a number of years, I cannot see any huge non-US products (again, bar the Harrier) serving your nation in frontline positions. F-15/16/18/22/35/117, A-10, KC-10/135, AH-1/64, UH-60, B-1/2,Awacs, C-17/130, Predator, Global Hawk etc etc in addition to almost all weaponry being US manufactured. Again I ask you is this coincidental or the US protecting its industrial base or National Interest?

Marine One is a rather small procurement in the scheme of things, as is the Coast Guards acquisition of the CASA'S. What cargo planes are you referring to? Can't be the C-27 which was retired almost a decade ago and no European cargo planes appear on the USAF website inventory. Other than Marine One, what helicopters are you referring to?

I am not at all surprised that BAE Systems sell more to the US than the UK. Do you honestly want to compare defence budgets?

France and Germany are just two nations out of 27 in the EU. Again I invite the US to approach their respective Governments and display how the US market is simply flooded with Franco-German products while native programs can't get a look in so as to balance the playing field.


Good morning Halls.



Quoting Halls120 (Reply 43):
I'm sure your firemen are like ours - bored most of the time, so when there is a real fire, they all descend on the scene!

 checkmark 

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 43):
OTOH, DoD has a vested interest in making sure there is a viable industrial base in this country.

Which explains why the FCS is virtually all American as are your current/future frontline aircraft.

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 43):
We simply don't have the same relationship between government and industry that exists in the EU.

Simply cannot accept that. Industry are large contributors to political causes/parties/individuals. They sure as hell are not contributing so as to not have a seat at the table.

My response to the heads of Germany - France congratulations was I admit a touch cheeky, but the sentiment correct. Highlighting something which is a known fact is hardly controversial.

Off to work, so speak/respond later. Be safe.
If you was right..................I'd agree with you
 
Pope
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:01 pm

I don't think we should specify any particular reciprocity. What I think this tanker deal does is set a bar at a level where the usefulness of the product to the specified task is the determinant of the winner and NOT the company that makes it. Our European friends asked for a fair chance. It seems they got exactly that. US defense contractors should get no more no less. Earmarks and specific offsets are fundamentally inefficient.

But US manufacturers don't get a fair chance to allow their products to compete, then the European manufacturers shouldn't expect to continue to receive the same from the US DoD going forward.

On a personal note - EADS deserves a well done pat on the back because this was a big win for them. But the challenge is not over. In fact it's just begun. Now it's time to perform.

I hope that they deliver the best aircraft possible for our troops, on-time and on-budget.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:03 pm

We should likely look beyond just the KC-45A program. That 179-plane buy is likely going to be produced at a rate of around ten every six to twelve months, not each month. That's maybe a billion or two a year into Airbus' coffers, and that doesn't include the cost of building the factory and the cost of the plane. Even if the USAF doubles that buy, it's still relatively "peanuts" compared to their other programs. Mind you, I'm not dismissing the importance of 180+ sales, but it still averages out to maybe one delivery per year.

The real benefits of this to the US tax and payroll base is all those A330-200Fs that will be built for commercial customers at that factory. And they will be built at that factory - Airbus is going to want to - need to - amortize the costs of building that new factory over more then just one or two KC-45As a month. So that will be a few more planes a month that will be assembled at that line beyond what would just be coming from the KC-45A program. And, frankly, the A330-200F's long-term sales are likely to be stronger then the 767-300F's and 767-200LRF's.
 
baroque
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RE: Tankers: What Reciprocity Should US Seek?

Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:05 pm



Quoting Wingman (Reply 45):
You guys need to buy 40 C-17s or the equivalent each or have AF and LH buy 50 787s apiece. I simply cannot fathom how US taxpayers and politicians tolerate this imbalance any longer.

Ahem. Sauce for geese and ganders. Looks like the US had best remove the quotas on lamb and open up the sugar market, or QF will have to swap its 787s for 350s, or whatever else we can bargain our way into.

Oh yes, and will you kindly remove the Mickey Mouse copyright rule, we don't like it and tell your pharmaceutical companies to keep their bloody noses out of our PBS system, it is none of their business.

Fair enough, if that is really what you want.

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