You can generally tell which countries the French government is trying to get an arms deal going with by the amount of diplomatic effort going in.
So this story of a $40,000,000,000 contract to supply new air tankers for the U.S. Air Force indicates a serious amount of lobbying.
Bad news for the U.K.’s influence in the U.S.A.: previously, the lack of sufficient air tankers for the U.S. forces meant they had to arrange help from the R.A.F., for example before the invasion of Afghanistan. Presumably, once this contract is up and running, the U.K. becomes just that little bit more expendable.
For this reason, the U.K. government should have tried to block this deal. But I have no doubt that Nicolas Sarkozy would have innocently pleaded that the EADS contract was a “European” deal and how could the British be so cynical?