Pentagon: Iraq contracts for “US allies only”
The US Department of Defense has barred French, Russian and German companies from competing for prime contracts to rebuild Iraq, saying it was acting to protect "the essential security interests of the United States."
In what appears to be act of retaliation by the Bush administration against US allies who opposed the war effort, the directive limits competition “to companies from the United States, Iraq, coalition partners and force contributing nations," said US Deputy Defense Secretary, Paul D. Wolfowitz in a determination dated December 5, 2003.
The 26 proposed building contracts, valued at $18.6 billion, will improve Iraq's electricity, oil and water sectors and equip its army. The directive states that while French, Russian and German companies are banned from primary contracts, the countries may apply for subcontracts. The tenders are expected to be announced in the coming days.
Companies likely to benefit from the directive include the UK, Japan, Italy and Australia. US President Bush opened the Iraqi market to British companies as a “good will gesture” to wartime ally UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, announced US officials last month. UK firms were excluded from the previous round of bidding for lucrative contracts. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)