Recently 125 members of Congress wrote a letter that was sent to President Obama and released publicly to try and get the U.S government to take punitive actions against EADS and Airbus for receiving illegal subsidies. The World Trade Organization (WTO) supposedly has ruled on that a few months ago. The case is still ongoing with counter charges and reviews. Many in Congress who support Boeing feel that this should be taken into a account when the KC-X bids are reviewed. Although Northrop Grumman and EADS have threatened not to participate.
Boeing releases a statement about the letter and their appreciation for the Congress Members actions:
“Boeing is encouraged to see such strong bipartisan congressional support for U.S. action to end the illegal subsidies that European governments have for decades provided to Airbus at the expense of American industry and its workers.
“Despite an imminent final WTO ruling on illegal subsidies, Airbus appears poised to extend and continue the practice of using illegal subsidies for its new aircraft, the A350. This new plane directly targets America’s aerospace industry and the tens of thousands of workers who design and build aircraft in the United States.
“As stated in the congressional letter to the president, our government policies should not reward foreign governments or companies that benefit from illegal subsidies. We look forward to working with Congress to ensure this matter of principle and of important policy is enforced.”
EADS and others have made claims that Boeing through its military contracts over the last sixty years has received the equivalent of these subsidies themselves. That case is still pending at the WTO.
Of course the Defense Department needs two bids to efficiently carry out the competition so all this back-and-forth may ultimately have no effect.