Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Arms firms agree ethics swap

November 2008

Some of the leading aerospace and defence exporters in Europe and the US have agreed to greater informal co-operation on ethics.

Details of the ‘close collaboration on ethical business practices’ remain vague, but one element will be an annual international forum on business conduct ‘to mark progress and plan strategy’.

Chief executives of the companies stopped short of announcing they will develop a joint US-European code of ethics covering arms sales, but it is understood that this could result from the new collaboration. An official statement said only that the companies would ‘use the separate business ethics regimes in place in the US and Europe as a starting point for efforts to exchange good practices internationally’.

Founding supporters include the chief executives of Cobham, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Rockwell Collins, Saab, and Thales, with others expected to join. The agreement was convened by the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe and the Aerospace Industries Association of America, representing 2300 companies.

However, they stressed that the deal is not formal, ‘but rather a general agreement to move forward on principles’.

Global | Business ethics

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