Even if the European Union lifts its arms embargo on China, in the face of vehement US government opposition, EADS will do nothing to jeopardise its interests in North America, co-chief executive-designate Tom Enders told high-level German and US participants at a recent conference of the Berlin foreign policy think-tank DGAP.

Speaking behind closed doors, Enders said: "Whatever the government policy, companies still have to make their own decisions about the business they want to pursue. We at EADS will do nothing that could jeopardise our interests in the USA." EADS declines to comment on or confirm Enders' remarks, but confirms he spoke last month at the DGAP's 50th anniversary conference.

With shareholders France and Germany pushing to lift the em­bargo, EADS has said only: "This is a political issue that has to be solved at a political level."

Effectively ending speculation that EADS would be prepared to sell arms to China, Enders' statement echoes comments by BAE Systems chief executive Mike Turner, who told a high-level US conference last month that the UK company would do nothing to jeopardise its business in the USA. "Companies have to make their own decisions, and nothing forces us to sell to China," he said.

Source: Flight International