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Boeing ramps up subsidy rhetoric

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 21, 2009

Boeing has attacked Airbus’s use of state aid after the US Congress released a letter urging the US administration to ensure that the European manufacturer complies with a recent WTO ruling which found some forms of aid to Airbus illegal.

“Despite an imminent final WTO ruling on illegal subsidies, Airbus appears poised to extend and continue the practice of using illegal subsidies for its new aircraft, the A350. This new plane directly targets America’s aerospace industry and the tens of thousands of workers who design and build aircraft in the United States,” the company said in a statement issued on December 18.

Boeing added that it was looking forward to “working with Congress to ensure this matter of principle and of important policy is enforced.”

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It is the strongest attack by Boeing against its competitor after the WTO issued a draft ruling in September which found that some of the €3bn (A$4.8bn) in research and development aid given to Airbus during the development of the A380 amounted to illegal subsidies. However, that ruling has no application to aid for the A350.

Boeing is also facing a ruling on a counter claim lodged by the European Union accusing the manufacturer of unfairly benefiting from state tax breaks and US military contracts, which is expected to be ruled upon in 2010.

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