Friday, February 2, 2007

Airbus is crooked, says North; US shouldn't patronize

The United States should not buy military aircraft from a foreign company that was "singled out for fraud and bribery on a massive scale" and still relies on palm-greasing to compete against American companies.

That's what Fox News's Oliver North argues in his weekly column. And he's talking about EADS/Airbus.

"In 2003, on the eve of the annual Paris Air Show, the Economist published an extensive investigative report detailing 'irregularities' in aircraft manufacturing and sales. Boeing, and others in the industry were cited for questionable practices," North writes.

"But EADS/Airbus was singled out for fraud and bribery on a massive scale designed to boost sales to airlines in Switzerland, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, India, Canada and Syria."

"Though new EADS/Airbus managers -- Thomas Enders and Louis Gallois -- vow they have improved the ethical culture in the European aerospace giant, others disagree. According to the Atlantic Times, an English language paper published in Germany, EADS/Airbus is still wracked by 'delays and turbulence.'

"One industry insider told me, 'If anything, the use of "Schmiergelder" ["grease monies"] to "facilitate" sales became more rampant as Airbus sales tanked in 2006 and the vaunted Airbus 380 white elephant collapsed amidst design flaws and faulty wiring.'

"Fair market competition on a level playing field is great - as long as everyone plays by the same rules. Apparently, that isn't how EADS/Airbus has played in the past. If Airbus is awarded the contract to build the KC-X, American taxpayers will -- for the next two decades -- subsidize a company whose practices and products are questionable at best.

"Boeing, an essential US exporter will be damaged and thousands of high-tech American aerospace jobs will disappear forever in Toulouse, France, and Hamburg, Germany. We ought to increase exports - of American products - not American jobs. When it comes to the KC-X, wouldn't it be better to simply 'Buy American?'"

1 comment:

nicoco1221 said...

How can one say Airbus is crooked and conclude that the KC-X contract should go to Boeing when Boeing officials themselves have been convicted because they bribed government officials to win the KC-X contract in the first place?