Obama says tanker bidding process to be free, fair
WASHINGTON, March 30
WASHINGTON, March 30 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday bidding on a contract to build aerial refueling tankers will be free and fair.
"What I said to President Sarkozy is that the process will be free and fair and that the trust is justified," Obama said at a news conference with his French counterpart.
"Here the secretary of defense makes procurement decisions. The president does not meddle in these issues and that's a long-standing policy," Obama said.
Obama said he had assurances from Robert Gates, the secretary of defense, that the rebidding process is going to be completely transparent, open and fair.
Europe's EADS (EAD.PA) and Northrop (NOC.N) won the previous tanker contract from the U.S. Air Force in 2008, but Gates canceled that deal after government auditors faulted the Air Force's procurement process and uphold a protest by Boeing.
Sarkozy said EADS would bid if the process is fair and said he trusted Obama's assurances.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, Editing by Sandra Maler)
- Atheists face death in 13 countries, global discrimination: study
- Signer says suffered schizophrenic episode at Mandela memorial |
- Missouri executes man for killing good Samaritan motorist in 1994
- Thai military chief rebuffs meeting request in blow to protesters |
- Google executives' planes saved millions in costs due to error - NASA