The European Commission has raised the spectre of protectionism in the transatlantic refueling tanker plane affair.
European industry as well said the Pentagon changed the contract rules on a 26 billion euro tender to supply the US air force. Boeing looks set to win it, after the American Northrop Grumman and its European partner EADS dropped their joint offer.
France’s minister for Europe, Pierre Lellouche, in Paris called it a serious matter, and said his country would respond, though without going into detail. He said Europe’s credibility was at stake.
Berlin also warned it would not take it lying down.
The Pentagon, however, insists that the bidding process was fair. The Air Force chose Northrop and EADS over Boeing for its refueler in 2008, but Boeing complained. Brussels calls the latest development “highly regrettable” and says it is extremely concerned.