Washington to press WTO on EU subsidies to Airbus
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