ContractsProf Blog

Editor: D. A. Jeremy Telman
Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Protection of Domestic Industry UK Style

Bombardier Train Today's Guardian has a story about two cabinet ministers who have sent a carefully worded letter of complaint to British Prime Minister David Cameron protesting the award of a £3 billion contract for the manufacture of train carriages (cars) to the German company, Siemens.  The ministers are upset that the contract was not awarded to Bombardier, which employs 3,000 people in Derby and is the last remaining train factory in Britain.

The ministers apparently express concern that Britain EU partners do not play fair.  After all, the German government recently awarded a £5.4 billion high-speed train contract to German-based Siemens.  And just last year, the French government awarded a £540 million contract to Siemens rather than to Paris-based Alstom.  

Wait a minute.  Doesn't this suggest that Siemens always wins these big contracts rather than that member states of the EU engage in favoritism?  Moreover, Bombardier is not even a UK company.  It's Canadian!  A union representative in Derby is quoted by the Guardian as expressing concern that Bombardier will shut down operations in England.  After all, if it can't win a UK contract, what's the point of even having a factory there?  Simple solution.  Sell the factory to Siemens.  They seem pretty busy.

[JT]

 

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