Theresa May threatens US with trade war over Bombardier row CREDIT: AP
Theresa May has threatened a trade war with the US after it slapped punitive tariffs on British-built aircraft, casting doubt on a key plank of her Brexit strategy.
The US Department of Commerce decided Bombardier aircraft, built in Northern Ireland, should be subject to 219 per cent import duty after the American aviation giant Boeing complained that Bombardier had been given unfair state aid.
The Government responded by warning that Boeing’s behaviour “could jeopardise” future Ministry of Defence contracts for its aircraft such as Apache helicopters. Continue reading →
Industry officials say military won’t move fully to American-built engines until at least 2024
The Pentagon will remain dependent on Russian rocket engines to launch military satellites into space through at least the mid-2020s, despite the U.S. government allocating billions of dollars to defense contractors to produce an American-made replacement.
The projection adds several years to initial targets laid out in 2014 by lawmakers and senior Air Force officials, who ordered the United States begin phasing out Russia’s RD-180 engines amid national security concerns spurred by the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea. Continue reading →
Congress demands investigation, imposition of new sanctions
New photographs obtained by congressional leaders show Iran shipping militant soldiers to Syria on commercial airline flights, a move that violates the landmark nuclear agreement and has sparked calls from U.S. lawmakers for a formal investigation by the Trump administration, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.
Photographs published by a Washington, D.C., think-tank and provided to Congress show Iran using its flagship commercial carrier, Iran Air, to ferry militants to Syria, where they have joined the fight against U.S. forces in the region. Continue reading →
Late on Friday, Congressional negotiators reached a deal to advance a bill that would punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 election and restrict the president’s power to remove sanctions on Moscow, according to the WSJ. The measure, if signed into law, will also give Congress veto powers to block any easing of Russian sanctions by the president. And while it remained unclear if President Donald Trump would sign the bill if it reaches his desk, which is now likely, the loudest complaint about the bill to date has emerged noe from the Oval Office, but from Brussels, after the EU once again urged (and warned, and threatened) US lawmakers to coordinate their anti-Russia actions with European partners, or else. Continue reading →
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency will take greater control of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense missile system from Boeing at the end of this year, according a spokesman. This is a major shift in oversight. (Department of Defense)
Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate this week that the military is taking steps to improve its capabilities for countering and conducting information warfare — the use of cyberattacks and influence operations.
The Pentagon “must continue to improve its ability to exploit cyberspace as a pathway for information operations to affect adversary perceptions, decisions and actions in support of strategic ends,” Gen. Selva said in written policy statements to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The four-star general testified at a nomination hearing for a second term as vice chairman. Continue reading →
U.S. companies need to prepare for greater tension between the Trump administration and China. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross opened high-level economic talks on July 19 by scolding China over its trade surplus. That doesn’t necessarily signal a trade war is imminent — the two countries have come through other rocky patches since Donald Trump became U.S. president. Still, Trump is weighing whether to restrict imports of Chinese steel and aluminum, a move that could prompt retaliation from President Xi Jinping. Such tit-for-tat actions could lead to a Chinese backlash against American businesses. The following are among those most at risk:
The movie studios want more access to China, where foreign releases accounted for 61 percent of box office sales in the first half of 2017. China allows about three dozen foreign films to be imported on a revenue-sharing basis — with the studio only getting 25 percent. Hollywood wants a higher number of imports and better revenue splits. Negotiations are ongoing and the U.S. could take China to the World Trade Organization if the two sides don’t reach an agreement by the start of 2018. Continue reading →
A day after a Russian fighter allegedly flew within 5 feet of a US reconnaissance plane traveling over the Baltic Sea, Reuters reports that a NATO F-16 fighter jet returned the favor when it tried to improperly approach a plane carrying the Russian defense minister. The plane was traveling to the city of Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave along the Baltic coast, where Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu was scheduled to discuss security issues with defense officials on Wednesday. The NATO aircraft was warded off by a Russian Su-27 jet, according to RT.
In an accounting of the incident, Reuters notes that one of the Russian fighter jets escorting Shoigu’s plane had inserted itself between the defense minister’s plane and the NATO fighter and “tilted its wings from side to side to show the weapons it was carrying, Russian agencies said.” After that the F-16 promptly left the area. Continue reading →
Artist’s conception of the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle deploying to attack an incoming missile.
Officials won’t say it’s because of North Korea. But experts say Pyongyang’s planned ICBMs will almost certainly release decoys to cloak their nukes.
The Missile Defense Agency, or MDA, is accelerating the development of an interceptor that can take down several incoming warheads — or one warhead and several decoys — simultaneously. While MDA officials say the move is not a response to any specific threat, one prominent defense watcher notes that North Korea is likely working hard on missiles that can fire decoys to confuse interceptors.Continue reading →
Aerospace giant moves forward with contested deal to sell planes to Iranian regime
Leaders from Boeing reportedly traveled to Tehran recently to meet and sign a deal with a top former Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) member who threatened to blow up U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf region, raising new questions about the U.S. aerospace company’s continued efforts to ink multi-billion dollar deals with the Iranian regime.
Representatives from Boeing traveled to Iran last month to meet with Hossein Alaei, CEO of Aseman Airlines, which is owned and controlled by the state. Boeing is moving forward with a $3 billion dollar deal to sell new planes to Aseman despite fierce opposition on Capitol Hill and direct evidence Iran has used commercial aircraft to ferry weapons and fighters across the region. Continue reading →
This sanctions relief not only gives legitimacy to the Revolutionary Guards globally, but emboldens and empowers Iran’s elite military unit by allowing them legally to conduct business and transfer money.
Many Iranian companies are owned by senior figures from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and judiciary who have been involved in crimes against humanity, violating international laws, breaching UN resolutions, money laundering and monstrous human rights violations. Nevertheless, the new sanctions relief allows foreign companies to do business with them without repercussions.
Furthermore, the Obama administration secretly agreed to remove sanctions on several Iranian banks, including banks have long been sanctioned by the UN due to their illegal activities in missile financing and skirting UN security resolutions regarding the arms embargo.
Iranian leaders have become cognizant of the fact that their hardball political tactics pay off very well with President Obama. They continue to obtain concessions from President Obama even in his last few months in office. They see that intransigence works with the White House, and that threatening the U.S. will lead to Obama offering more concessions to Iran. For Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), giving concessions means weakness.
U.S. Air Force training planes made with a lot of Swedish help, delivered by Russia. If this isn’t a signal America has lost its edge, we probably don’t want to know what else might be around the corner.
Boeing partnered with Swedish company Saab to design their candidate for the Air Force’s next advanced trainer aircraft.
A decade of layoffs forced the US giant to seek engineering and manufacturing talent from partner Saab.
It seemed so all-American: a U.S. aviation giant unveiling its newest military jet to flashing lights and thumping heavy-metal music. But the sleek twin-tailed T-X — Boeing’s candidate to become the U.S. Air Force’s next pilot trainer — couldn’t have made it to the dolled-up St. Louis hangar without a good deal of international help.
The Chinese head of a yet-unnamed aviation company has been sentenced to four years in prison for hacking into rival defence contractors in an effort to acquire military defence intelligence.
Su Bin, 51, also known as Stephen Subin, admitted to a California court that from October 2008 to March 2014 he had engaged in a years-long conspiracy with officers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to “illegally access and steal sensitive US military information,” according to the US Department of Justice (DOJ). Continue reading →
US government still needs to approve $17 billion contract to update Iranian passenger jet fleet
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran said Sunday it has reached an agreement with American aerospace giant Boeing to purchase 100 aircraft to renew its aging fleet, though the deal must still be approved by the US government.
The Islamic Republic has ordered about 200 planes from three Western manufacturers since mid-January, when economic sanctions were lifted following a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program. Continue reading →