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VOA French Contracts Questioned

VOA French Contracts Questioned

Two former VOA employees are asking why the Voice of America “systematically” has given transmitter business to a European manufacturer.
In a letter to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and distributed to others on Capitol Hill, Jack Quinn and Nick Olguin complain about a recent IBB/VOA award for the “Kuwait Transmitting Station Shortwave Expansion” project to French firm Thales Radio Broadcast.
“Thales … is jointly owned by the French government and the Thomson conglomerate,” they wrote. “TRB, in effect, is subsidized by the French government. No American broadcast manufacturer has ever won a job in France, nor are they even allowed to participate in the bidding process. Yet, the IBB continues to ignore our procurement laws and regulations by just handing over one project after another to the French.”
They say the VOA contract is not in the best economic interests of the United States. Further, they call it “unthinkable to award such a large anti-terrorist contract to a French company when their government openly opposes U.S. policy in that region.”
“The French have been trying very hard to put U.S. manufacturers of radio transmitters, antennas and vacuum tubes out of business, in order to create a monopoly. This attempt to eliminate or restrict competition is in direct violation of our Antitrust Laws (Sherman Act),” they write.
The writers also cricitize VOA purchases of “subsidized foreign steel for IBB projects at giveaway prices.”