Sorry Britain, BAE probe’s a go

Stephen Beard Jun 26, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Sorry Britain, BAE probe’s a go

Stephen Beard Jun 26, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Lisa Napoli: We’ve been expecting this next one for a while now. Today, the Department of Justice launched a probe of the British defense contractor BAE. Allegations are BAE paid a $2 billion bribe through a Washington bank account to secure a major arms deal with Saudi Arabia. From London this morning, Marketplace’s Stephen Beard told me this doesn’t reflect so well on the British government.

Stephen Beard: This is hugely embarrassing for the British government. Not only because the British government stopped the British inquiry only to see it now resumed by the U.S., but because the original arms deal was between the British and Saudi governments. BAE was the sort of subcontractor. So here we have the Department of Justice essentially investigating the British government. This could blow up into a huge diplomatic row between the U.S. and one of its closest allies.

Napoli: And just while we’re talking about this, the part of this that interested me as well Stephen is the idea that BAE is now trying to get approval to buy an armored vehicle maker. So this is a sensitive time for that?

Beard: It is. BAE, it’s in the process of buying Armor Holdings in the U.S., the company that makes among other things the Humvee and it’s also in the process of trying to turn itself virtually into an American corporation. It is already the Pentagon’s fifth largest supplier. It’s the largest foreign supplier and it is trying to increase its business in America, which is by far the largest and richest defense market in the world. So this corruption investigation will put something of a chill on those expansion plans.

Napoli: That’s our Stephen Beard in London.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.

Raise a glass to Marketplace!

Just $7/month gets you a limited edition KaiPA pint glass. Plus bragging rights that you support independent journalism.
Donate today to get yours!