Washington to press WTO on EU sub­si­dies to Air­bus

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

WASHINGTON: The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion said Mon­day that it will press the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WTO) to en­force a panel re­port that found the Euro­pean Union (EU) guilty of main­tain­ing il­le­gal sub­si­dies to Air­bus.

The US Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive plans a spe­cial meet­ing at the WTO on Oct 14 as it de­fends US air­craft pro­ducer Boe­ing’s mar­ket po­si­tion against what it calls un­fair com­pe­ti­tion from its Euro­pean rival. That fol­lows the Sept 22 find­ing of a WTO ap­peals board that the EU failed to end il­le­gal sub­si­dies for Air­bus.

The US wants the WTO to for­mally adopt the ap­peals panel’s find­ings, and “will press for the rapid en­force­ment of those find­ings in a spe­cial meet­ing of the WTO’s Dis­pute Set­tle­ment Body,” the US Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive’s of­fice said in a statement.

“We will not tol­er­ate our trad­ing part­ners ig­nor­ing the rules at the ex­pense of Amer­i­can work­ers and their fam­i­lies,” said Michael Fro­man, the US trade rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

The WTO ap­peals panel, rul­ing in the dis­pute dat­ing back to 2004, said that the EU had not taken the steps or­dered by the WTO in 2011 to with­draw sev­eral sup­port and sub­sidy pro­grammes for Air­bus.

The WTO did not give a value to those pro­grammes, but Boe­ing said they amounted to US$22 bil­lion (RM90.6 bil­lion) worth of il­le­gal sup­port for Air­bus de­vel­op­ment and sales.

Boe­ing also claimed that as a re­sult of the Sept 22 rul­ing, the US could now levy re­tal­ia­tory du­ties against the EU of up to US$10 bil­lion a year.

At the time, the EU said it found some of the WTO find­ings “un­sat­is­fac­tory” and noted it had the right to ap­peal the rul­ing. It also pointed out that the WTO is likely to rule in the com­ing months on EU and Air­bus com­plaints about what they say is il­le­gal US sup­port for Boe­ing.

Washington has said it is ready to ne­go­ti­ate a so­lu­tion over the broader dis­pute. – AFP

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