The European Union wants to continue talks with the United States to resolve a dispute over subsidies to Boeing and Airbus despite the failure...
BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Union wants to continue talks with the United States to resolve a dispute over subsidies to Boeing and Airbus despite the failure to strike a deal before today’s deadline.
“I stand ready to continue negotiation,” EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said in a statement distributed yesterday.
“The EU remains interested in reaching an initial agreement that reduces the levels of government support in this sector and completing a comprehensive agreement in the longer term,” Mandelson added.
EU officials said they were hopeful more talks could avoid either side taking legal action at the World Trade Organization. They warned a lengthy case at the WTO risked prolonged trans-Atlantic political tensions and commercial uncertainly for both plane makers.
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Acknowledging that a 90-day negotiation period failed to resolve the dispute, U.S. officials said Friday they would not take the case back to the WTO unless Europe launches new development subsidies for Airbus.
Airbus is soon expected to seek around $1.6 billion in investment from European governments to support the launch of its A350 model, a rival to Boeing’s new 787. Such aid would likely spark legal action by the United States at the WTO unless an agreement is found.
EU officials say talks stalled on U.S. insistence that the EU halt such “risk-sharing” investment in new models under which Airbus does not have to repay government money if its plane is a commercial failure.
The EU counters Boeing gets similar aid, notably through $1.6 billion granted by Japan to build the wings for the 787.