24-Mar-2010 9:39 AM

Airbus replies to WTO report, slams B787 as "most highly subsidised aircraft program in the history"

Airbus released (23-Mar-2010) a statement regarding the WTO Panel report on US complaints over state subsidies and launch aid for Airbus programmes. The US argues that Airbus has received USD205 billion in loans and other benefits from France, Germany, Spain and Britain over 20 years. Airbus stated the panel report confirms the following: [more]

  • 70% of the US claims were "rejected".
  • The European reimbursable loan mechanism is "confirmed to be a legal and compliant instrument of partnership between government and industry";
  • The US request for remedies were rejected as "legally inappropriate";
  • Past loans were found to contain a certain element of subsidy. Airbus will study this finding;
  • Possible future funding for the A350 is not affected. US attempts to include the A350 were "specifically rejected";
  • Neither European launch aid any other measure has caused "material injury" to any US interest. Airbus started this means that the US claims that European measure caused job losses or lost profits in the US aircraft industry have been rejected. Boeing claims of lost US jobs have now been judged and "found to be false";
  • Research grants have been condemned as structurally non-compliant, "with important implications for the coming report on US subsidies to Boeing".

Airbus: "These results are in stark contrast to Boeing's enthusiastic expectations announced only last night in a statement by the company. Airbus, the EU and the Member States will closely analyse today's ruling in advance of a possible review by the WTO appellate body. Airbus expects the WTO to issue the report on Boeing subsidies in Jun-2010. Boeing's recent WTO enthusiasm is unlikely to survive WTO confirmation that the B787 is the most highly subsidized aircraft programme in the history of aviation. Airbus expects the WTO conflict to drag along for at least a few more years. As in all other trade conflicts, resolution will finally only be found in trans-Atlantic negotiations," Company statement, 23-Mar-2010.

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