BRUSSELS --- U.S. fears about losing European defense contracts are unfounded, Brussels told Washington on Thursday after the Pentagon demanded the European Union curtail a new military pact that it sees as a potential threat to NATO.
In a May 1 letter seen by Reuters, the U.S. government warned the 28-country EU against going too far with defense integration and hinted at retaliation should American companies not be involved in future European weapons development.
In its reply to U.S. Defense and State Department officials, the EU’s foreign service said it was “fully committed” to transatlantic ties and that procurement rules had not changed.
“The EU remains fully committed to working with the U.S. as a core partner in security and defense matters,” said the May 16 letter to U.S. defense officials, which was made public.
However, the EU’s letter also insisted that the United States, which dominates the global weapons market, should award more defense contracts to European companies and end export control regulations that limit the EU’s ability to use capabilities developed with U.S. technology.
“Such restrictions would be unacceptable for products and technologies funded by the EU budget,” the EU letter said. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Reuters website.