By Graham Warwick in Washington, DC
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute between the USA and Europe over government subsidies for Airbus and Boeing raises its head in the eagerly awaited US Air Force request for information (RFI) on the KC-X tanker replacement programme.
Released on 25 April, the RFI requires potential bidders to identify and quantify how any government financial support, including subsidies – and retaliatory duties that could result from the WTO dispute – might affect the KC-X life-cycle costs.
Responses are due by 9 June, with a final request for proposals expected in January next year. Boeing and Northrop Grumman are expected to offer the KC-767 and A330-based KC-30, respectively.
With Airbus and Boeing embroiled in a trade dispute over subsidies, the RFI pointedly asks bidders to identify “business arrangements that involve a financial contribution from government”, including launch aid; grants for manufacturing sites; soft loans, forgiven debts and equity infusions; and research and development funds.
Bidders are asked to quantify how any change in those business arrangements, including retaliatory duties that may be imposed on the eventual loser in the WTO dispute, could affect KC-X costs.
Source: Flight International