You're still exporting a lot of cash. The issue isn't money going to SpaceX (could as well be ULA), the issue is money going to a domestic launch and spacecraft company. If it's not domestic, it's hard to sell to the public. You don't get the multiplier effect (unless there's reciprocal trade).
Isn't ITAR going to be a problem for Europeans? For instance if they want to refurbish the craft themselves between launches?
I am not an expert on ITAR but I don't think that SNC would sell a DC to ESA. They would rent it and SNC (or one of their U.S. subcontractors) would operate it. I believe that there are efforts to remove spacecrafts from ITAR. But that has yet to be done.
Well it would seem to go against the ESA "buy european" policy then. I was thinking DLR might buy a DC on its own funds (no political problems with ESA in this case) and then ESA could operate it with european industries doing the maintenance/refurbishment. But it is too early to tell anyway.
The launcher is European why would the spacecraft be an issue if this was for the ISS?
Let me throw this idea out there...... Couldn't the ESA partner with the USA as a replacement for Soyuz seat purchase?
If the concern is loss of commercial launches to SpaceX; It could be sold as a new commercial market for the ESA?
EDIT: The question is: do you want to support the European launch industry or the domestic launch industry?
No, you misread. I was talking about the concerns the Europeans are having with loss of Commercial launches to SpaceX. My questions move them up market to HSL
As I'm looking at this you might be transferring seats on a Soyuz to Seats on an American spacecraft. Only difference its launched from a euro spaceport. Not saying I like it 100% or anything. It's just thinking out loud.
As for cash ...we have a barter agreement.
The next round of cash for CC is avail. Might be the perfect time to do this.