WASHINGTON: Europe's Airbus accused the White House of derailing open competition by helping Boeing Co win a record aircraft deal in Indonesia as details emerged of a behind-the-scenes struggle over jobs and airplane sales worth almost US$22bil.
The European planemaker's sales chief said that lobbying over the deal on behalf of President Barack Obama had demonstrated double standards on free-market competition amid an ongoing row between Washington and Europe over aircraft subsidies.
“There's only one superpower in the world and I think we know it isn't France; it is probably represented by President Obama,” John Leahy said at a market briefing in Washington on Thursday.
“When he starts making headlines that he is selling airplanes and how that wouldn't happen without his personal involvement, we are seeing economic distortion and we shouldn't be talking about free and open level playing fields for trade around the world if the US pulls stuff like that.”
Last month, Obama showcased an order for 230 jets from Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air worth US$21.7bil at list prices, the largest commercial deal in Boeing's history. - Reuters