BBC BLOGS - Peston's Picks
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
« Previous | Main | Next »

BAE: 'a knowing and wilful misleading of the US government'

Robert Peston | 20:10 UK time, Friday, 5 February 2010

The charge to which BAE Systems has pleaded guilty in the US is chronically embarrassing for Britain's biggest manufacturer.

TyphoonsThe US Department of Justice says that, from 2000 to 2002, BAE knowingly and wilfully misled the US government by failing to honour a pledge that it would be rigorous in ensuring that no payments would be made to officials of governments when trying to win business from those governments.

The charge filed in a District of Columbia court claims that after May and November 2001 vast secret payments - of over £135m and $14m - were made by BAE through an offshore vehicle to marketing advisers and agents without proper scrutiny.

The court document also contains details of £19m in secret payments by BAE to an unnamed person who helped BAE sell airplane leases to the Hungarian and Czech governments.

The Department of Justice also lists services such as holidays provided to an unnamed Saudi public official and cash transfers to a Swiss bank account that it says were linked to the £40bn Al-Yamamah contract to supply military equipment to Saudi Arabia.

BAE says there has been a revolution in its corporate culture and it has cleaned up its act.

But the US Department of Justice's charge is serious and damaging to BAE's reputation.

What did BAE stand to gain from what the Department of Justice calls its various false statements to the US government?

More than $200m by the Justice Department's reckoning.

BAE presumably now reckons it has paid too steep a price for that revenue.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    There has been an acceptance at all levels that honesty does not matter amymore. Top to bottom. Big thieves pay fines and little thieves go to jail... ask the banks. The corporate state is about making money, any way they can. Our ever vigilant governments only took about 10 years to figure this out..Using an "off shore vehicle" is an interesting statement. There is no standard for ethical behavior as reputation is simply how much money do you have. No one is held responsible so what difference does it make.

  • Comment number 2.

    What an embarresment, not that BAE have had to pay huge fines but that our illustrious government even allowed it to get this far.
    The arms trade is a dark and murky business and if a country has a substantial sector supplying and servicing the arms trade then governments are very happy to enjoy the benefits. What they fully understand and accept is the only way to do business with the majority of customers is through middle men who at the behest of the end user will negotiate and make sure every one has a cut of the top. Everybody knows it ,everybody does it. Its the only way. So lets cut the moralising and recognise thats the way its been for decades and thats the way it will continue to be, unless government doesn't want an arms trade any more.

  • Comment number 3.

    I had mixed feelings of both shock and resignation in equal measure.
    Sadly I agree with 'ghostofsichuan'.
    Our only hope is that governments actually do begin to take these ignoble corporations to task and fine them to the hilt. After all, what government doesn't need the money nowadays?
    Now there's a thought. I wonder if (perhaps not in this case but) some of the increased vigour over pursuing, and fining, corporate wrongdoing is spurred on by the need for additional revenue.
    Either way perhaps Jo Public will get a bit of payback after all. Go DOJ!
    Let's hope the UK and EU are just as ruthless on this side of the pond.

  • Comment number 4.

    A conundrum:

    If you or I had carried on in business like BAE (and many others!) we would be sharing a cell with Bernie Madoff, but if you are a company you just get a fine.

    Why do the directors, managers and agents of companies get off scot-free?

  • Comment number 5.

    The problem with Robert cosying up with the business elite is that too often he fails to ask the killer question: how else would he secure those interviews? They know they are in for an easy ride. Why was it that he gave Cadburys boss Roger Carr a free pass? Did he ask how much Carr stands to personally benefit from the Kraft takeover? Or the board? If he did, I didn't hear it. His interviews with the bank bosses during the crash were cringe worthy. He never nailed them. Not once. Poor show old boy.

  • Comment number 6.

    @ ghostofsichuan

    A precise summary of the prevailing mentality in the last two decades. One can only wonder where this trend will lead us to. If we look at history, it says - WAR!

    As paradoxical as it sounds, war corrects these trends and restores the real values of humanity.

  • Comment number 7.

    @ tyler wasser

    There's only one REAL journalist left in the BBC and his name is Adam Curtis.

  • Comment number 8.

    I shall always wonder if the truth would ever have come out without Private Eye on their case for so many years. Thanks to them for not giving up.

  • Comment number 9.

    There is more than one pertinent question.
    While raising the moral issue of lying, what about the moral issue of manufacturing arms, whose purpose is to kill and maim? When it is such a giant industry, and the budget is so immense, it says something about a society's priorities. It is much more than needed for plain defence, and it is very profitable.
    If one is to engage in the manufacture of arms on a vast scale, there are only going to be a few possible customers for the wares. Many jobs, stock exchanges, possibly governments and the well being of the populace are effected by winning these huge contracts, for which there is bare-knuckles international competition.
    So BAE can either let the dogs loose, use all available methods to obtain these contracts, and deal with un-savory middle men and arms merchants, or lose out to another corporation that will.
    What would the editorials be if BAE lost out on major contracts, but it's negotiating methods and ethics were beyond reproach? I believe that there would be calls for management who would do "whatever it takes" to win contracts, put people to work, and increase the stock's value.
    Quite a dilemma for management.

  • Comment number 10.

    Robert, any analysis of BAE System's conduct is incomplete without a full listing of those individuals in senior management and Board of Director positions at the time of these illegal transactions/practices. That way, the public can know who was responsible (and culpable) for these transgressions.

    After the saga of Al-Yamamah - and those of us who were in the MoD and working on the Tornado at the time know that substantial sums went "walk-about" by way of commissions and "agents fees" - you would have thought that BAE Systems' directors (and it shareholders: WAKEY, WAKEY you clods!) would have known that the writing was on the wall for these kind of practices. It takes a particular type of arrogance to believe that you could continue to get away with it forever in the face of the United States' 1977 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

  • Comment number 11.

    Perhaps if the government had had the guts to follow through the whole Al Yamanah scandal with prosecutions, etc. this situation would not have arisen. I think #1 Ghostof sichuan's point is very, very important. The idea of honesty, and the concomitant trust that goes with it, is almost anathema to our entire business/political (and legal?) class. The problem for them is now that the public do not trust THEM any more. Without trust, the public become the mob.

  • Comment number 12.

    They are crooks, yeah? Arms dealers. You jazzed it up with Swiss bank accounts and bribes and vehicles to marketing advisers. BAE got off cheap.

    A revolution in corporate culture?

    Wot?

  • Comment number 13.

    holiday is a diplomatic incident.

  • Comment number 14.

    Please someone explain to me why it is the USA are now the world's police, prosecutors, jury, judge and beneficiary of fines. Why do the USA get 250 million GBP? Why doesn't that money go to the UK Govt, UN or even be equally distributed around the world. It seems we accept we are the servants to Uncle Sam; I am ashamed these days to call myself British more for our subservience to the wrong master than to the wrong cause. The Americans can extradite us, British citizens for alleged crimes we committed on British soil, yet we can not do this to them. Now they can fine us for acting in corruption, yet we can not fine them. Britain appears to have become a US patsy state.

  • Comment number 15.

    Robert Peston.

    "..vast secret payments - of over £135m and $14m - were made by BAE.."

    vast?

    a drop in the ocean, given the turnover of this 'vital' industry.

    "The combined arms sales of the top 100 largest arms producing companies amounted to an estimated $315 billion in 2006."

    source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_industry

    in 2008 our governments spent a total of $1464bn on controlling and killing us.

    "BAE presumably now reckons it has paid too steep a price for that revenue."

    yep, and pigs can fly.

  • Comment number 16.

    Why is anybody surprised that arms dealers don't behave ethically?

    The only surprise to me is the hypocrisy of the US government, which happily overlooks the behaviour of its own multi-billion dollar arms industry.

  • Comment number 17.

    BAe Systems pays 135,000 wages in this country. It probably supports 3 times as many in support and sub-contract industries. If they need to get business, they sometimes have to crack a few eggs. Well done Tony Blair for halting the first investigation. Let us all grow up.

  • Comment number 18.

    Tolouse Ian, Absolutely correct! The French do it, The US does it every arms manufacturer in the world does it. They have to that si the way business is done in this industry. You only hear complaints when the people who lose the deal for what ever reason bleat about it.
    Either we want an arms industry in this country or we don't. If we don't thats probably about 200,000 jobs on the line. If we do then we have to play the game to the customers rules not our own.

  • Comment number 19.

    Guys,

    You think there is an ETHICAL way to trade in arms?

    “I am in blood stepped in so far that should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o’er.” Macbeth

  • Comment number 20.

    Would be interesting to know where the Saudi bribe went - a couple of new palaces...or just maybe supporting al-Quaeda?

  • Comment number 21.

    It is ironic the current bribery and corruption laws were introduced following the Boer War when munitions manufacturers were bribing officials for contracts. In November 2009 in the Queens Speech it was announced a new Bribery Act be introduced that imposes a much harsher regime for such offences (tougher than the US laws)and includes making a company and its officials liable if an employee breaks that law. At last I say, but in the spirit of taking a tougher stand on corruption our authorities should have exposed this saga for what it is and not just levied a fine.

  • Comment number 22.

    Is there so much fuss about this whole affair because it is an arms company that has been caught dishing out back-handers? Is it only arms companies that bribe? I wonder how much fuss there would have been if BAE was selling wind turbines, would the same people that are whining now be whining then?

  • Comment number 23.

    The fine is nothing more than a further bribe to avoid a trial and its possible consequences.

  • Comment number 24.

    Canterbury_Tales #21.

    "It is ironic the current bribery and corruption laws were introduced following the Boer War when munitions manufacturers were bribing officials for contracts."

    yes; another QI factoid is that the same Lord Goldsmith who sanctioned Blair's adventures in Iraq also dropped the investigation against BAE when he was in charge of the SFO.

    criminal I think, and a [insert expletive].

  • Comment number 25.

    Maybe it would have been better just to let the French or Germans have the contract. After all Britain doesn't really need the business does it ? How low can our government sink even paying lip service to imposing fines on a British company doing what every other international trader does, bribe the buyers. If the fines had been imposed on the government officials taking the bribes, fair enough but alls fair in business and BAE are to be congratulated for initiative.

  • Comment number 26.

    I really don't see what the fuss is about really. If BAE didn't make the payments a US or French defence firm would of. If it meant securing British jobs, increasing British output, then i'm all for it.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm sure there is no company in the world other than BAE Systems who pays bribes, is there?

    Certainly no French or German one and with absolute certainty not the Americans.......

  • Comment number 28.

    A LOT of time was spent trying to find evidence did the UK and US, and that SFO office spent a TON of taxpayers pennies (4.3m just on outside help) to get, well, nowhere. From a business point of view, the company said they had to take the interests of the shareholders as top priority (as they have to legally) and I reckon they have. Take a look of the share price. The share price that pension pots depend on.

    Couple of facts to muse over:

    BAE can only export to countries that the government give them an export licence for, for each specific product.

    Al-Yamamah was a GOVERNMENT to GOVERNMENT deal. And the UK got a ton of crude oil for it.

    And the economic impact of BAE on the UK: www.oef.com/Free/pdfs/BAEFinalReport.pdf

  • Comment number 29.

    Mark #26.

    "I really don't see what the fuss is about really. If BAE didn't make the payments a US or French defence firm would of. If it meant securing British jobs, increasing British output, then i'm all for it."

    well, if you're 'moral compass' is so broken that you cannot see anything wrong with (roughly) $1500bn pa spent globally on controlling and killing people, then you're right of course.

    (note to self, must get little plastic flag to wave)

  • Comment number 30.

    An almighty cock up by BAe management but some people even British MPs seem to want to achieve maximum damage to one of Britains biggest employers.
    What should of happened is the few senior executives should of been prosecuted.
    What will happen is a lot of hard working staff with families will lose their jobs.

  • Comment number 31.

    The Defence Industry has been plagued with corruption for decades, from plying visiting Zimbabwean Generals with hookers and booze to multi-million Dollar bribes, it is not new and is not likely to be the last we see of this plague either. The players are of many nationalities and representing almost every last defence manufacturer on the face of the Earth, with corruption reacinh into the Governments of both suppliers and their customers via a network of corrupt agents in disparate locations across the world. Countries like Dubai are notorious haunts for the more nefarious amongst the international business community as the lure of easy and big money attracts those with fewer scruples than the rest.

  • Comment number 32.

    The latest twist in the BAE affair sends the following message to the public:
    If one is accused of corruption, one can fend off the worst consequences by admitting some minor aspects and by then paying a relatively modest amount of money to one's accusers.

  • Comment number 33.

    This is a quite revealing interview. The BAE chairman gesticulating too much with his hands - an obvious sign that he wants to convince us in something he clearly does not believe himself. And Robert sitting quietly asking boring questions.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8501603.stm

  • Comment number 34.

    The outcome of this case is truly shocking. If there were ever any doubts that justice can be bought, there can now surely be none. If I mugged an old lady I would expect to face justice in the courts. Imagine a world where it was acceptable that I paid off the judge to drop the charges. Indirectly, that is what BAE has just been allowed to do. My advice to shareholders is: good luck. I hope you're confident that your money is in safe hands.

  • Comment number 35.

    No 6 & 7 Plumski

    Agree with you that War is the inevitable result and the obvious aim of the International Arms Trade.

    Thank you for drawing attention to the splendid work of Adam Curtis.

    No 17 ToulouseIan

    You say "Let us all grow up" I say " let us give our children and grandchildren the chance to grow up"
    by resisting the spurious arguments of venal warmongers.







  • Comment number 36.

    BAE were doing business in a country where the only way to win business was to make a payment or two to corrupt officials. If the British didn't another country would have and the business would have gone else where. Why make such a fuss. The contracts kept thousands of people employed in the UK. BAE are in direct competition with American companies to supply aircraft to foreign nations. Do you not think that there is an ender lying reason why the squeaky clean (NOT) Americans might be so keen to persecute a British company. Wake up do-gooders, if we carry on like this the only industry we will have left will be fast food outlets!

  • Comment number 37.

    Not justifiying anything BAE did but they operate in a sometimes murky world.

    One of their main american competitors recently lost a contract for alledgedly bribing american officals, however after it was awared to a non-american company there was a national outrcy in the US and after the alledged "main culprits" (don't think anyone believes they were the only offendors) went to jail the contract is now up for tender again, I really can't blame BAE for thinking "how on earth can we play fair in this climate" It is almost impossible to win big deals in the US because of vested interests, get US companies are happy to buy up our national Icons without anything like the backlash!

    Moving on to BAE's UAE/SA deals, what they did is not a crime in the country they did it in, it is simply how businesses work, again the US are only annoyed because BAE got the contract and they didn't, does anyone really think US companies don't do the same? The US is the worlds biggest arms dealer, and not all the countries it sells to have as "ethical" business practises as the West is supposed to have

    As one ambasador to the US once said, "when it comes to trade everyone is their enemy"

    The US lost a few battles to BAE, so they played dirty. No-one is white in this, especially not the US.

  • Comment number 38.

    @jr4412

    I didn't say that I agreed with the industry, or the controlling & killing of people. However the industry does exist whether you, I or anyone else likes it. If however it means securing British jobs over foreign firms, then so be it.

  • Comment number 39.

    A fine is meaningless , the people who authorised the deals should be jailed , along with the people who knew of the deals yet turned a blind eye.
    Perhaps it would explain how foreign companies get to build large parts of our defence equipment while factories in this country are closed.

  • Comment number 40.

    makerofsense #30.

    "An almighty cock up by BAe management but some people even British MPs seem to want to achieve maximum damage to one of Britains biggest employers.
    What should of happened is the few senior executives should of been prosecuted."

    corruption is endemic, not confined to a "senior executives".

    (interesting choice of tag, given your opinion)

  • Comment number 41.

    Mark #38.

    "However the industry does exist whether you, I or anyone else likes it. If however it means securing British jobs over foreign firms, then so be it."

    that's known as apologetics, though, perhaps you'd prefer to see your self as someone who denies responsibility?

  • Comment number 42.

    corruption is a disease of our times where rampant greed and sickening showy lifestyles of the rich and stupid flood our every waking moment. Everybody appears to think they are living in a reality TV show, and make themselves out to something they are not, look at the average secretary drowning in credit card debt so she can where the latest gucci prada blabla bling. Look at the shining beacons society our politicians gorging themselves in the public purse like rabid pigs. There is no moral guidance in schools church business politics sport, how do we honestly expect people who sell weapons of mass destruction, who deal in killing and maiming as many people as possible for a job to behave? Does the fact that BAE who sell every conceivable weapon for killing human beings are the UK's biggest Manufacturer not tell us anything about where we are heading. Would the UK Government under spineless corrupted yes men, oh yes please Mr Bush can we please come and join you in an illegal war to sell lots more or our lovely weapons its our biggest industry don't you know, ever investigate or prosecute these untouchable faceless parasites. Pigs might fly, but only in private lear jets. May the end come soon.

  • Comment number 43.

    @JR44.12,

    Many thanks for the crash course in amateur psychology. Perhaps your time will be better lobbying governments, to try and stop the arms trade. Then there would not be the need for a BAE systems. Up until that point I will continue to support British industry and British jobs.

    It isn't denail, simple economics supply and demand.

  • Comment number 44.

    Is this ranting getting anybody anywhere.
    Though I did laugh out loud when I read Tyler wassers bizarre criticism of Robert Peston.
    Would you go around interrogating, slating and criticising the people you converse with for a living?
    Anyone who did would very soon be a lonely ol' git without a job.

  • Comment number 45.

    It should be a matter of great concern that our legal system allowed the prosecution of BAE to be blocked in the UK.

    The fear that the Saudii regime might stop supplying intelligence does not seem to have worried the US. One of AL Qaeda's objectives is to overthrown the feudal Saudi regime. So the Saudis have more interest in combating Al Qaeda than we do, and it is most unlikely they would have carried out their threat.

    It seems probable that the security threat was cooked up between the Saudi regime and the UK government, as an excuse to block an investigation which would have embarrassed both governments. This would have been entirely consistent with the Blair style of government, with its comtempt for the rule of law, as has been revealed by the Iraq enquiry.

  • Comment number 46.

    17. At 07:53am on 06 Feb 2010, ToulouseIan wrote:
    BAe Systems pays 135,000 wages in this country. It probably supports 3 times as many in support and sub-contract industries. If they need to get business, they sometimes have to crack a few eggs. Well done Tony Blair for halting the first investigation. Let us all grow up

    Precisely. We produce some of the finest torture equipment in the world.
    Lets be proud. Its just a shame that some of the profits can't be diverted into equipping our own armed forces properly

  • Comment number 47.

    Mark #43.

    first off, apologies for my 'tone' (nod to TheTurk #44).

    "Perhaps your time will be better lobbying governments, to try and stop the arms trade."

    already happening.

    "Up until that point I will continue to support British industry and British jobs."

    and that's where we differ -- my support is for (all) people, little lines on maps don't really mean anything, except division.

    industry and jobs: as I've said above, corruption is endemic. the reasons are complex, admitted, but one can work on removing incentives to be crooked.

    captialism (from paternalistic through to neocon) has resulted in a world where a few are very lucky because of an accident of birth and the overwhelming majority are, well, out of luck.

    for instance: http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats

    I'm happy to apologise for using uncompromising language, I'm even happy for you to feel comforted by your nationalistic outlook, but I do not feel the same way (and certainly not about such 'sacred cows' as government, business, or religion).

    all this 'There Is No Alternative' stuff (Thatcher's favourite) simply doesn't wash.

  • Comment number 48.

    I have to say Adam, your post was amusing if not a bit naive. Yes weapons are used to kill people (unfortunately), but they also serve as a deterrent to threats to our, and other nations national security. We have a defence industry and our armed forces defend our nation. I don't want to get into an argument about Iraq and Afghanistan, but until the world rids itself of all tools of war, that is the way it is, like it or not.

  • Comment number 49.

    What a load of moralistic tosh.

    Operating in another country involves accepting that everything isn`t as squeaky clean as you might like and BAC (now BAE Systems) has been simply going with the flow for years in order to compete successfully with other companies.

    As for this prosecution originating in the USA ... Gordon Bennett! Since when have US defence contractors become paragons of virtue?

  • Comment number 50.

    Although I am a realist, and aware that the arms business is horribly dodgy - see Boing and the on-going USAF tanker Contract, BAE have been caught red handed, but given a (£300M free pass) by USA and UK Governments.

    Wasn't one of the first acts of Blair's government an ethical foreign policy ? They might as well repeal it, and they can at least be honest.

    In the 1930's, BAE Systems would have been fined, taken into government ownership and been sold on - to the benefit of the USA and UK governments for anti-Trust practices.

    Maybe Blair can take a 'plea bargain' on the Iraq war, say sorry and be exonnerated of any culpability ?

  • Comment number 51.

    I admit I was flabbergasted to hear that BAE was Britain's largest manufacturer. However, having accepted and gulped down that unpalatable fact I thought about the reason for it. It's obvious. All our large retailers have stopped buying British , replacing good British workmanship with cheap foreign goods,in order to maximise shareholders' profits. One of our largest clothing chain stores used to be a by-word for quality; visitors came from all over Europe to buy underwear and woolen goods etc. Nowadays this store is filled with second rate garments made from shoddy materials. How are the mighty fallen.

  • Comment number 52.

    @ Jr4112

    Don't get me started about Maggie...... ha ha.

    I wish you every success in your continued lobbying of governments. I hope we come to a point where there isnt a need for compnaies like BAE, and the world can live in harmony.

    Until that point we'll take differong opinions.

    All the best.

  • Comment number 53.

    Large companies now routinely include the cost of plea-bargains as one of the risk factors in their pricing of major contracts. If they get found out, it's a relatively small price to pay. If not, a juicy windfall. That's why BAE was one of the very few FTSE100 risers on Friday - their shareholders know the company got away with it.

  • Comment number 54.

    Its always jobs jobs jobs....
    It does make me wonder how many people are gainfully employed in the illegal drugs business in this country.
    The organised gangs that control supply are therefore of strategic importance and should be supported by Govt. Perhaps the primeminister could so a few promotional trips to Afghanistan to help out.

  • Comment number 55.

    Do you think this does not happen at all. It's normal practice throughout the world. Its only that the US cooperations have been playing hardball the US government to press fraud charges. The UK government simply follow the US lead - some special relationship.

    I suspect most people here would like BAe to fold along with the technology they hold - sold to the highest overseas bidder. Not to mention the 200000 UK jobs that would be lost. I suppose all those persons could go and work for some government management service.

  • Comment number 56.

    What does it say about a country that its biggest manufacturer makes things designed to kill people?

  • Comment number 57.

    I do not understand why has any Business or political editors at all, they do dare not rock the policical boat any any major issues. It was strange how long it even took them to actually start reporting the MP's expenses scandle, as in denial - or told not to report on it by BBC executives. The news had a large % of reporting on man made global warming, and green taxation, this seems to have changed somewhat since the leaked e-mails. Also what happened about the BBC expenses, funny they didn't report much on that either.

  • Comment number 58.

    Of course it is always jobs, jobs, jobs. Shall we destroy what is left of British industry, and watch the country sink further into debt? What on earth do you think keeps the country going? This is the real world and not an episode of a fantasy cartoon!

  • Comment number 59.

    Several years ago I was a member of a UK team competing for a US defence contract to supply protective equipment to US troops in Iraq. We were required to engage in many months of rigorous tests and trials to prove that our company was sound and our kit met the requirements.

    We lost at the last moment to an obscure (but politically well connected) Washington-based company who came out of nowhere, had no prior experience in the field, and appeared to bypass all the competition rules to win.

    Unsurprisingly, the equipment they produced proved to be inferior and was abandoned a year later, whereupon the US government (with no sense of shame or embarrassment for their dubious decision which risked US troops' lives) simply announced a new competition for replacement kit...

    So it's hard to stomach the US Department of Justice's criticism of BAE. Perhaps they could put their own house in order first.

  • Comment number 60.

    58. At 12:46pm on 06 Feb 2010, mikehay99 wrote:
    Of course it is always jobs, jobs, jobs. Shall we destroy what is left of British industry, and watch the country sink further into debt? What on earth do you think keeps the country going? This is the real world and not an episode of a fantasy cartoon!

    No just stop exporting arms and torture equipment.
    Stop supplying future enemies of this country with the means to kill our own troops
    Build up our own armed forces and supply them properly
    Divert some of the boffins currently designing new ways to kill people to useful innovative and preferably safe products that we can export

    This is the 21st century after all



  • Comment number 61.

    In late summer early fall 2007, I tried to get a contract with BAE Systems to transport the M-RAPS they were building for the US Defense Dept. I found possible corruption between BAE Systems and Landstar Transportation. From BAE Systems Small Business section the whole way down to the shipping clerk in York,Pa. The contract specified that the transportation of these vehicles would be divided between three trucking companies. It was all three were owned by Landstar. I know for a fact that at least two other companies had lower bids, but were not selected. The Landstar agent would not broker loads to other companies, they kept it all in house. I worked on this for at least a month or so, but to no avail. I even filed a complaint with the FBI but nothing was done.

  • Comment number 62.

    "So it's hard to stomach the US Department of Justice's criticism of BAE. Perhaps they could put their own house in order first."

    Precisely.

    This prosecution of BAe Systems is a farce. It has more to do with protecting US arms manufacturers than anything else.

    Every time I hear Vince Cable, the Lib Dem economic spokesman, going on about BAe indulging in corrupt practices I wonder if he has any idea at all of how business is conducted in the Middle East, where if you are not prepared to offer "commission" to secure a contract you might as well go home, for your American competitors certainly will, secure in the knowledge that their government will turn a blind eye.

    What would the morally outraged have BAe do? Take on a whole culture? Say, "This practice of handing over a little "gift" isn`t very nice to our way of thinking"?

    Get real.

  • Comment number 63.

    I feel very deeply that the commonly held attitude that a business should be allowed to do this sort of thing in order to compete with other corrupt businesses is one of the most contemptable aspects of the human race. That anyone can actually believe this argument is evidence enough in my opinion that we, as a species, deserve to be wiped off the face of the planet.

    Why?
    Well, think about what such an attitude actually means.
    It means that luxury goods (which is, bascially, what decent jobs in preferance to poor jobs really means) for some of us is more important than life and limb for others. It also implies that the very principles of morality and ethics can be opted out of in a civilised world, when in fact the only thing that can make the world truly civilised is if that doesn't happen.

    In other words; "Businesses like BAE should be allowed to be just as corrupt as other manufaturers of instruments designed to kill other human beings in order for some human beings to afford plasma screen TVs- and anyone who thinks ethics or morals should take precendence should be considered ignorant."


    Quite apart from this, what does it say about the UK that one of our biggest manufaturers does not make clothing, it makes killing instruments? It doesn't principly supply the means to cook, clean or entertain- it supplies the means to destroy, maim and repress.
    Yes some people who buy weaponry and armour do so purely to defend, but what does it say about the intentions of these buyers if they are open to bribery and corruption even before the weapons are in their hands?

    It is obviously extremely hypocritical of the US government to investigate BAE whilst failing to investigate the plain fact that Halliburton was awarded dozens of contracts by their 'ex' CEO who was the Vice President. However, that doesn't stop the fact that the 'he did it too' argument is still one that human beings should have grown out of by the time they are 12!

  • Comment number 64.

    May I suggest you ought to take this up with the human race, rather than with BAe?

  • Comment number 65.

    I'd like to see every bit of detail published and that should have been part of the deal. Corruption is corruption and it needs to be exposed for what it is. I don't care if it is MPs, or private tax-dodging companies.


    63. At 1:54pm on 06 Feb 2010, Leviticus wrote:

    Well said. Thank you.

  • Comment number 66.

    >64. At 2:08pm on 06 Feb 2010, Capt Arthur Bogof wrote:
    May I suggest you ought to take this up with the human race, rather than with BAe?

    The people in BAE are members of the Human Race. I hope.
    In addition, they are traders in dangerous items. As such they should be more spotless than other businesses, not less.

    If a chemical plant making toxins was exposed for bribing officials so it could bypass normal procedures I am sure you would want those that did the bribing (and those that took the bribes) brought to account. I would also guess you would not consider 'but he did too' to be an argument for letting them continue!
    Simply because guns might not be used to cause harm whereas the toxins almost certainly will end up harming people is no excuse to treat them differently.
    Nor is the size of the company. 'Too big' is a term being used far too often to justify far too many exemptions that the public are expected to put up with or bail out, when in fact it is a phrase that exmplifies the argument that no private company should ever be allowed to become so large!

  • Comment number 67.

    Leviticus - Bopal and Union Carbide you mean.....



    Would this argument be taking place if the company in question providing drugs for healthcare [Aids Vaccines, SwineFlu, etc...]. Becuase it happens in all walks of business from food production to cloathing, electronics to aviation everywhere.

  • Comment number 68.

    66. At 2:29pm on 06 Feb 2010, Leviticus.

    You are an idealist, Leviticus, and if I may say so, a moralist and while I have a great deal of admiration for such qualities, I cannot afford them and nor can this country, I think.

    The cost of our even attempting to set ourselves up as a shining moral light to all the world would be considerable and, I suspect, more than slightly ridiculous.

    Perhaps the western European, Protestant culture may have a lot going for it, but it is not the culture in which many companies have to operate and they have little choice but to follow local customs and traditions in order to survive.

    In addition, the capitalist system is one that sees virtue in competition. Would you want to change that as well, and to what? The alternatives have proven spectacularly unsuccessful, given human nature, and I don`t think it`s the responsibilty of a single company, however large, to try and improve the human race.

  • Comment number 69.

    Blair was busy during his premiership!

  • Comment number 70.

    68. At 4:20pm on 06 Feb 2010, Capt Arthur Bogof wrote:
    66. At 2:29pm on 06 Feb 2010, Leviticus.

    You are an idealist, Leviticus, and if I may say so, a moralist and while I have a great deal of admiration for such qualities, I cannot afford them and nor can this country, I think.

    The cost of our even attempting to set ourselves up as a shining moral light to all the world would be considerable and, I suspect, more than slightly ridiculous.

    Perhaps the western European, Protestant culture may have a lot going for it, but it is not the culture in which many companies have to operate and they have little choice but to follow local customs and traditions in order to survive.

    In addition, the capitalist system is one that sees virtue in competition. Would you want to change that as well, and to what? The alternatives have proven spectacularly unsuccessful, given human nature, and I don`t think it`s the responsibilty of a single company, however large, to try and improve the human race.


    Capitalist systems spins the benefits of competition, but they really don't mean it because the captains of capitalism know it doesn't work - if they did there would have been no bank rescue, no bailout of any idustry or company! Given the state we're in now, I would say we are seeing the utter failure of capitalsim now. But then, that is just my little opinion based on observation.
    Morals, from the dictionary,

    of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical

    No society can survive for long without morals. You cannot afford to be without them, when you think about it.

  • Comment number 71.

    Britain should simply give up the arm trade. In the past it used to rule the colonies by the sword and now it's selling them the swords so they fight between each other.

    It's time to clean up the act.

  • Comment number 72.

    68. At 4:20pm on 06 Feb 2010, Capt Arthur Bogof wrote:
    66. At 2:29pm on 06 Feb 2010, Leviticus.

    You are an idealist, Leviticus, and if I may say so, a moralist and while I have a great deal of admiration for such qualities, I cannot afford them and nor can this country, I think

    Capt Can I remind you of the following, issued by the chief of the General Staff? You may have come across it before but possibly not.

    The Army’s Values and Standards are not abstract concepts whose origins lie solely in the demands of battle. Values are the moral principles - the intangible character and spirit - that should guide and develop us into the sort of people we should be; whereas Standards are the authoritative yardsticks that define how we behave and on which we judge and measure that behaviour. They reflect, and are consistent with, the moral virtues and ethical principles that underpin any decent society. It is important that they are explained within that wider context, for it is vital that soldiers understand these Values and Standards and are able to apply them in today’s complex operations.

  • Comment number 73.

    I note that the hypocrites who are so critical of BAE's so called corruption are quite happy to benefit from the huge amount of revenue that BAE brings in to the UK. It's time to grow up and stop being so naive. What other country in the world would be so stupid enough to attempt to destroy it greatest exporter?

  • Comment number 74.

    @ gsum

    I suppose you justify Afganistan's right to export opium?

  • Comment number 75.

    Oh come on!

    BAE is a British company in name only. 70% of it's employees pay tax abroad and since it started supplying the US with tanks, it has effectively become US controlled.

    If the UK govt had not backed down on taxation of foreign profits it would have probably moved abroad in name too.
    I checked its accounts for the first six months 2009. UK Corporation tax expense £27m WOW !

    Tesco has 7 times the no of employees in the UK
    There are about 3 times as many UK BAE employess in curry houses in the UK

    OK Sales are up thanks no doubt to Iraq and Afghanistan but compare any benefit to the Uk with the amount spent by the Govt on these liberations.

    I'm sure once it's no longer British in name everybody will get their moral compass back.

    In the meantime allow me to 'throw back at ya' the advice to grow up and get real. It's a lazy, pathetic and obscene stance.
    How real do you want me to get? Shall I show you the physical effects on a human body of these great exports ? Of course not. Apologists for this obscene industry never want to confront the reality of the source of their profits.

  • Comment number 76.

    I think its rich of the USA to talk about corruption.

    One of thebiggest saga's to hit this country was in 1965,
    with the cancellation of the TSR2 programme that nearly , or some woul dsay bankrupted the like of Rolls Royce and the airframe manufacture in the UK, leading to R being nationalised around 1970 along with the creation of BAE origins.

    What happened TSR2 was cancelled for an alleged loan from IMF or USA
    and the UK to purchase the F1-11 which was late and that lead to the F4-phathom with RR spey engines which where not idea for size reasons.

    Also Australia was pressurised to buy the F1-11 instead of the TSR2 by the USA, many would see this as a far more sinister form of corruption

    Because what the US was attempting to do was Kill the UK aviation sector. And given that the EFA Thyphoon is much better than many USA platforms you have to wonder about the US involvement in this issues.

    The special realtionship is only one way and not in the interest of the UK.

  • Comment number 77.

    It's not just the arms trade. A few years ago my firm was negotiating a contract at the invitation of a Middle East country. When our man went over there to settle the deal, he was met by the chief bigwig, who asked him: "Where's my 300,000?". When he said he didn't know anything about a 300,000 - dollars or pounds or whatever - he was shunted back to the airport and the contract was not even discussed. I have a certain sympathy with BAe, in particular the people representing them.

  • Comment number 78.

    You also have to wonder what issues were brought to bear with the JSF rather than navalise the EFA ? Which was based largely on the EAP work
    and the Sepecat Jaguar FBW demonstator (raspbery ripple) all done by the UK almost alone, which showed how good an engineering country this and a threat to the US in that departement , much like the French and for that you have to salute the french, they would not have tollerated the US attiitude that for sure

  • Comment number 79.

    \35 I'm no war mogger, but what I want is that the UK has independance from the US, so people like bliar blindly follow the US lead as they have us by the short and ED (HMG ministers surname here plseaee)

    for that we need our own infarstructure which the US seems hell bent on destroying

  • Comment number 80.

    I am sorry but most of the commentators and Mr Preston are somewhat unaware of the reality of international trade. If you are doing business in the anglo-saxon world or NW Europe then you can stick to the no extra commission payment rules. However, if you are doing business in the majority of the world then you have to play by the local rules. If you don't that is fine. You will feel good. But you will not be doing the business and people like the Chinese - and many others - will take this business from you. Will you stop the trade? No. Just our economies will not be benefiting from it.

  • Comment number 81.

    80. At 9:06pm on 06 Feb 2010, The Rusty Gecko

    Oh dear!
    Should I have decided the way to make money is to become a drug dealer since plenty of kids in my area were doing just that when I was a kid? Well, if I don't someone else will.... Really?
    We should all stick to the Golden Rule
    Ask yourself this: Just how much of the hand-overs are declared for tax purposes? Answer:none. Why not?
    Hence, no decent roads, no decent health care, no decent education, no decent governments, and peasants starved of services (you know things like justice systems, sewage systems, police, fire services...), of a future with nothing but a few dodgy goods.
    Would it be OK with you if all the MPs who had decent expense claims decided to start joining in at the trough because everyone else in their neck of the woods was doing it?

    All you get is more dodgy bank accounts in tax havens for a few, very select, rich people, above the rule of law with their own private enforcers.

    If you join in and sink to the lowest common denominator, then how will we ever rid ourselves of corruption?

  • Comment number 82.

    Yep, we've seen a few comments like 80 with the drug dealers excuse - if I didn't sell the stuff, someone else would.

    But I think we could do with a good news item or documentary reminding us why bribery does so much damage, as these posters and both BAE and Lord Goldsmith make it sound like a small administrative error - a victimless crime.

    Arms sold to countries where bribery is needed can kill several times before they are actually used in war. They stop the country spending the money on proper development - and so more of the poorer in that country die of poverty. Then the bribe money itself, having been obtained criminally, could well go on to fuel other criminal activities , or even terrorism, as it is untraceable. And then the arms purchases in one country go on to stimulate demand for similar arms in neighbouring countries, so the same thing happens there, and the poor again suffer. And finally, in a few cases, the arms go on to be used against us - for example the ones we sold to General Galtieri (eg Westland) or Saddam ( eg Marconi) and help to kill our troops.

    So, good Job Creation Scheme, huh?

  • Comment number 83.

    Without prejudice...
    BAE were also involved in making sure that the Czech government bought Saab Grippen. The decision to buy Grippen was finalised in 1998. Annoyed the hell out of the Americans. But on the other hand, Moscow were happy because the Grippen is just out of range of Moscow, unlike the US contender.

    Hahaha. Well it's just the way the cookie crumbles. Lockheed are already paying in the billions, so who cares.

  • Comment number 84.

    82. At 10:28pm on 06 Feb 2010, Cloud-Cuckoo

    We're in agreement. You've described in more detail what replaces the good stuff.
    I'm no criminologist, so I wouldn't know, but I'd be interested to see the real measurements of harms when you compare the effects of 'ordinary Joe crime' with corporate crime? The big boys in this world would probabaly prefer we never find out....

    If you are interested then take a look at the work of Sorious Samura. For example he made Addicted to Aid for Panorama in 2008.

  • Comment number 85.

    >68. At 4:20pm on 06 Feb 2010, Capt Arthur Bogof wrote:

    You are an idealist, Leviticus, and if I may say so, a moralist and while I have a great deal of admiration for such qualities, I cannot afford them and nor can this country, I think.



    I am afraid Captain that this is a lie sold to us by those in power that you have, unfortunately, appeared to have bought into like so many in the world.
    Morals and ethics are the very foundations of improvements within a society. They are at the root of both the drive for advancement and the means with which to do so.

    Some of the captains of industry would like us to believe that nothing but greed and competition gives any advancement, but it simply isn't true. You can prove this to yourself by writing down a list of what your aims are in life, then at the side right the reason why you wish to achieve each of these. Then go a step further, and ask 'why' for each of the reasons. If necessary ask why to those reasons as well- and again and again Ultimately you get a single answer for almost every thing you wish to achieve- 'because it is the right thing to do'.
    In fact, when you think about it, anyone who writes down something other than that you would probably consider to be either insane or evil!


    >Perhaps the western European, Protestant culture may have a lot going for it, but it is not the culture in which many companies have to operate and they have little choice but to follow local customs and traditions in order to survive.

    And if those customs include child sacrifice? Torture? Dismemberment without trial? Disenfranchisement?
    Where do we stop?
    We stop right where we should, at the moral lines we have drawn for our selves. We do not step over them 'because every one else is'. We do not redraw them for convenience.


    In addition, the capitalist system is one that sees virtue in competition. Would you want to change that as well, and to what? The alternatives have proven spectacularly unsuccessful, given human nature, and I don`t think it`s the responsibilty of a single company, however large, to try and improve the human race.

    The capitalist system, put simply, is that everyone should aim to get to a stage whereby they no longer need to work because others are doing the work instead. It is, of course, impossible for everyone to achieve this.
    In the terms of this stage coming in the form of a pension when one is too old to work or in benefits if one would like to but is unable to, this is admirable and worth pursuing as an ideal.
    In terms of people considered our 'brightest and best' aiming to retire in their prime and contribute to society no more, or people who never need to work in their lives (both the rich and the underclass) it is utterly deplorable.
    In essence it is no more than a refinement of the feudal system of the middle ages, or the social stratifications of Rome or Carthage.

    Many argue that capitalism and competition are the only ways to move forwards. But is this really the case?
    Think of what features you would like to see in the next car you buy. Demisters on the front wind screen? A sunroof that uses photovoltaic cells as its method of tinting the glass and the electricity they generate to operate the AC? Adaptive lighting? The best road handling in icy conditions that is available?
    I would like all these things, but I can't have them in the same car because of competition. Because different companies hold the technology and won't allow the others to use them. Hardly indicative of the consumer getting the best out of competition is it?

    Should a company try to improve the human race? Well, what is the point in its existance if it doesn't?
    I don't mean it should be out there trying to change the world, but every company should have an aim to provide a service or goods. If those services and/or goods are not designed to make things better or improve life for their customers then why was it founded?
    Whether it is as simple as providing teatowels so that people can dry their crockery, or developing medicines to cure cancer- what does a company exist for if not to provide some form of improvement to the world?
    If a company is in business soley to do the opposite then it should be torn down. If it can only provide an improvement at the overall detriment to the world then it must change, or be torn down.
    For almost any company there will be a balance between the benefits it provides and the detriment it has to incur in order to do so. When it comes to morals and ethics, that balance is shifted far far more to the detriment than any gain from compromising them.

    As for all the 'alternatives' that have been tried- look at the essence of what they actually did. Nothing more than those old 'feudal' systems with a different name!

  • Comment number 86.

    When I read this had been settled out of Court my first thought was to wonder what disclosures had been averted and my second thought very close behind was to wonder which grubby Royal fingers had been spared.

  • Comment number 87.

    85. At 09:04am on 07 Feb 2010, Leviticus wrote:85.

    "In fact, when you think about it, anyone who writes down something other than that you would probably consider to be either insane or evil!"

    You don`t leave me much room for manoeuvre, Leviticus! However I don`t accept your unrealistically limited alternatives. I would like to think I am neither insane nor evil, but rather, realistic, in the sense that I prefer to work with things that I cannot change than to embark on a futile attempt to secure some sort of Utopia.

    It` all very well to say corrupt practices will lead to the strengthening of the position of those whose intent is wholly evil.
    However, what if the the `corrupt practices` are part and parcel of a legitimate business tradition that goes back centuries? What if the `corrupt practices` are so firmly entrenched that the state (or the ruling family, which is the same thing), expects any company with which it deals to conform without question or comment? (No names, no pack drill.)

    In these cases BAe is helping to build a legitimate deterrent and defence against evil, against acquisitive aggression, but it has no choice other than to deal with a system that is, to our way of thinking, corrupt. Unfortunately there is no way to measure how many wars have been PREVENTED by the existence of a strong military deterrent.

    Whether or not these regimes are worth defending is another matter, of course, and one that should be addressed to government, whose advice BAe is bound to follow.

  • Comment number 88.

    Its funny that the question of morality is being put about the giving of gifts etc to the saudi royal family.

    Yet NOBODY is questioning the morality of doing business with the Saudi Royal family in the first place!

    Saudi Arabia is probalby the most oppresive regime in the middle east, far worse than Iran, far worse than Saddam Hussains Iraq. And the people hate the royal family.

    Britian and Americas support and the presence of 25,000 US troops is the single biggest recruiter for terorrist groups in the middle east. Even Israel doesn't cause the level of resentment Saudi Arabaia does.

    So why does nobody question this? Going of Blairs recent argument for 'regime change' in Iraq we should currently be at war with Saudi Arabia.

    The hyocrisy for Britian and the US is remarkable. If you continue to support regimes like Suadi Arabai and Israel then you shouldn't whinge when you get attacked.

  • Comment number 89.

    There seem to be a number of apologists for the arms trade on the grounds of employment figures and money creation, as usual. No doubt the same arguments were made over the slave trade. "If we don't do it, the French/Spanish etc will get all the benefit!"

  • Comment number 90.

    Is it not true that the greatest danger, as far as international politics is concerned, is to think in terms of simple black and white ... this regime is good because it endorses a system of which we approve, this one doesn`t so we must shun and condemn it?

    In practice, whilst we do support certain regimes of dubious merit, some even bordering on moral bankruptcy, the alternatives which they are actively involved in suppressing could well be infinitely worse.

  • Comment number 91.

    >87. At 11:23am on 07 Feb 2010, Capt Arthur Bogof wrote:

    You don`t leave me much room for manoeuvre, Leviticus! However I don`t accept your unrealistically limited alternatives. I would like to think I am neither insane nor evil, but rather, realistic, in the sense that I prefer to work with things that I cannot change than to embark on a futile attempt to secure some sort of Utopia.


    In actual fact, you leave yourself little room to manouvre.
    It is quite obvious that you argue from a point of wanting the best overall for the nation. In other words you are doing things 'because they are the right thing to do', which is exactly what I was saying is where everyone who is not evil or insane is coming from.
    But as a result your argument becomes self defeating if examined in great enough depth- that is to go beyond the 'lets not upset the status quo and just turn a blind eye' view of the world. Self defeating because you want what is best, by virtue of doing what is worst.

    It doesn't require a plan for utopia, just an aim for things to be a little bit better in the world tomorrow than they are today. Isn't this what everyone (other than the evil and insane of course!) truly wants? Isn't that what you are after by turning that blind eye to allow a business deal to go ahead despite dodgy dealings to make it happen?


    >It` all very well to say corrupt practices will lead to the strengthening of the position of those whose intent is wholly evil.
    However, what if the the `corrupt practices` are part and parcel of a legitimate business tradition that goes back centuries? What if the `corrupt practices` are so firmly entrenched that the state (or the ruling family, which is the same thing), expects any company with which it deals to conform without question or comment? (No names, no pack drill.)



    Simply because something bad exists in the world and has done for a long time doesn't mean we should simply let it continue and join in! I would contend that if business practices require corruption then they are not legitimate, but this is beside the point.
    With reference to BAE and the above posts, the point is that as soon as the majority start simply saying "No way, we're not doing business in a corrupt manner" the options to the corrupt start to drop.
    But the majority will never do this as long as money takes precedence over morality and too many people turn a blind eye...


    >Is it not true that the greatest danger, as far as international politics is concerned, is to think in terms of simple black and white ...

    Not just politics- in the vast majority of arguments. Though not for the reason of the so called 'shades of grey'.
    I call it the chequered flag syndrome. You look at one point and it is black, someone looks at another and calls it white, whilst others take a look in low resolution and see it as a grey that doesn't actually exist. In reality it is none of these things, and even the chequered pattern is a simplistic view.

    What I am saying is that allowing more patches of black, and then defending said black areas by pointing out the little bits of white, makes the overall picture much darker than it ever need be.

    Defending corruption darkens the world we live in.
    As has been said before "All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing".
    Please stop advancing the cause of doing nothing!

  • Comment number 92.

    I am not a great supporter of the arms trade. However, they are not being fined for arms trading, but for unethical behaviour.

    And corruption is by no means limited to weapons sales.

    Business has to be either squeaky clean for everyone everywhere or we accept local rules. If we are to condemn BAe for under the table payments, then we should also condemn all other companies and individuals that do the same thing.

    Please let me know when a UK court decides to fine a US supplier.

    As for misleading the US government, George W. managed to mislead himself quite well. When does his case come up?

  • Comment number 93.

    'a knowing and wilful misleading of the US government'

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I thought that was T Blair, Campbell et al?

  • Comment number 94.

    I take your (many) points. Leviticus, yet I will not be converted to your point of view.

    I am one of those for whom the end does, in certain circumstances, justify the means. Unfortunately, in the real world, the end is at best a compromise, not an inherently and indisputably good thing. It rather depends on your point of view.

    You are, no doubt, aware that in certain cultures a `kick-back` or `sweetener` (our inelegant expressions), are not only expected but considered polite. To insist on the terms of the bare negotation is nothing short or rudeness, even arrogance. Both spell curtains for any contract, and to some extent the aspirations of any nation whose economy relies heavily on trade.

    In respect of politics (and inevitably religion) the past is littered with our mistakes having assumed the world would be a better place if only other people would see the righteousness of our system of beliefs. These have led to major conflicts in the past and should, I think, be avoided wherever possible.

    If I may say so, I think you may be in danger of assuming that your version of `better` in respect of "making the world a better place" must needs apply to all when, in fact it may do nothing of the sort.

  • Comment number 95.

    Apologies to all cotributors to this thread, first for failing to respond to your comments directly, and for my double post ... due to internet connection problems.

  • Comment number 96.

    What was the crime? Not being subtle enough - they used actual money. Back handers can take many forms. Are 'reciprocal agreements' as equal as they often are meant to appear? If you do a deal to buy something off me and I do a deal to buy something off you knowing that you will make a great big profit, I'm putting cash into your pocket - but not directly. Many countries are guilty of that including the USA. When does a large profit become a disguised back hander?

  • Comment number 97.

    Naive or what?
    What did BAE think would happen if they were caught being economic with the actualité?

    The US might look dumb, act dumb, but hell they ain't that dumb that they will be shown to have their noses rubbed in it.

    Rules are rules. And the US drew them up. For themselves.
    Don't like it? Don't play the game.

    Or at the very least don't get caught. Sheesh.

  • Comment number 98.

    Who gives a **** ?

  • Comment number 99.

    250M for a 39m contract is a ridiculous fine for a non-us contract to pay to aUSgovernment bodu......why should BAE pay it?

  • Comment number 100.

    To john: We the mere mortal who enjoys working in the aviation industry and would like to see our industry survive being taken over unlike all our other industry in UK.

    If another emerging country can happily reverse engineer a whole aircraft by buying it and striping it to its component part so it can build one for itself, and then telling any company if they want some business then a large part of the development and manufacture has to be done in said country, then what level of morals are we meant to have to sustain ourselves.

    All's fair in love and war.

 

Page 1 of 2

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.