EU Defense Programs Have Trump Administration Talking Retaliation.

Author:Harper, Jon

* PARIS -- The Trump administration might adopt new measures that would limit European companies' opportunities to participate in the U.S. defense market, a top Pentagon official said.

The move, if approved, would be in retaliation for European initiatives that administration officials believe could unfairly hurt American firms, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord told reporters at the Paris Air Show.

The European Defence Fund and the Permanent Structured Cooperation project--known as EDF and PESCO, respectively--aim to boost Europe's indigenous military capabilities. However, Trump administration officials are worried that some of the language shaping those initiatives could undermine U.S. industry, Lord said.

"The U.S. is very concerned about provisions in EDF and PESCO that would limit U.S. and other third parties outside of the EU in terms of participating in programs moving forward," she said. "Right now, European companies enjoy an enormous amount of business in the U.S. and we want to make sure that U.S. companies have the same opportunity" in Europe.

"As we read the language right now, even European-based subsidiaries of U.S. corporations with European facilities or European employees would not be allowed to participate with intellectual property exchange and a number of other issues on programs that grow out of EDF and... into PESCO," she added.

President Donald Trump has shown a willingness to use tariffs and other economic tools to punish other countries for what he views as unfair...

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