Trump administration claims Ottawa’s jet procurement plan is unfair to F-35, says report

CBC News
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II James Alexander Michie

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. The Trump administration is arguing the Canadian government's jet procurement policy discriminates against the F-35. (Mike Hillman/CBC)

According to a report, the Trump administration claims that Ottawa’s aircraft acquisition plan is unfair to the F-35. In fact, according to a Pentagon official, the procurement process is “fundamentally and structurally detrimental to any F-35 offer.”

Likewise, the Trump administration fired two warning shots last year over the Liberal government’s plan, which had been delayed for a long time to replace Canadian fighters CF-18, saying the acquisition process discriminates against the plane furtive F-35 built by Lockheed-Martin.

Similarly, the study conducted by a researcher at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI) cites leaked Pentagon letters written last summer and late fall to Public Utilities and Acquisitions officials in Canada.

Revealing report

This report was published on Monday and the same largely blames the liberal government for the delays in acquisitions, while making only a passing reference to the inability of the previous conservative government to comply with the same program.

Likewise, it is necessary to emphasize the main revelation of the report, which refers to the leaked letters, which are expected to ignite the debate for almost a decade, the plan to replace the old CF-18s of the 1980s with aircraft of modern war. In this way, the source of the Pentagon’s irritation is a federal government policy that insists that defense manufacturers deliver specific industrial benefits to Canadian companies.

It should be noted that the US Assistant Secretary for Defense Acquisition and Maintenance wrote to Canada’s Deputy Assistant Minister of Public Procurement and Purchasing Services of Canada last summer to complain about the Industrial and Technological Benefits policy (ITB).

That being the case, the plan to buy more fighter jets puts Canada on the hook for a greater share of the costs of the F-35. In this way, with the launch of the letters, the analysis of the institute clears the curtain of the controversy, perhaps the most controversial: how to reconcile the existing F-35 benefits package with the federal government’s standard procurement model.

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Source: Murray Brewster | CBC News

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