Planemaker hopes the decision will prompt Washington to end its retaliatory tariffs on European goods.
European aerospace giant Airbus Friday moved to halt subsidies for its leading twin-aisle jet model A350 in an attempt to end a decades-long dispute with its archrival Boeing over government aid.
The company has agreed to pay a higher interest rate on loans granted by the governments of Spain and France, where it holds some of its main production sites. The loans, known as Repayable Launch Investment, was one of the forms of aid to the company that the WTO found illegal.
Airbus said it hoped the move would prompt Washington to end its retaliatory tariffs on European goods and bring the EU fully in compliance with World Trade Organization rulings.
“Airbus has decided to make a final step to remove the last contentious point and amend the French and Spanish contracts to what the WTO considers the appropriate interest rate and risk assessment benchmarks,” the company said in a statement. “With this final move, Airbus considers itself in complete compliance with all WTO rulings.”
Industry officials say Airbus is trying to appease its U.S. archrival Boeing, which has pushed hard for Washington to combat what the Americans see as unfair EU aid.
“If Boeing asks [the United States Trade Representative] to put an end to the dispute, that will probably be the end of it,” said a senior industry official.
If Boeing agrees to seek an end to the dispute, Brussels and Washington could negotiate a new deal that would allow for some form of subsidies on both sides of the Atlantic, the official said.
The WTO is also due to rule on U.S. subsidies granted to Boeing, but the court in Geneva has delayed its decision, saying it isn’t expected until October or even November.
“Instead of waiting [for a new WTO ruling] this is a clear signal to USTR that the EU and Airbus are serious about compliance and want to end the dispute now,” said the industry official.
Want more analysis from POLITICO? POLITICO Pro is our premium intelligence service for professionals. From financial services to trade, technology, cybersecurity and more, Pro delivers real time intelligence, deep insight and breaking scoops you need to keep one step ahead. Email email@example.com to request a complimentary trial.
Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/airbus-moves-to-close-a350-subsidies-in-a-bid-to-end-wto-litigation/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication