The day before the final ruling by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on the Airbus subsidies was due to be issued, Boeing has attacked reports that Germany will provide launch assistance to the European manufacturer to finance research and development for the A350.
German newspaper Die Welt reported on March 21 that the German government would guarantee a €1.1bn (A$1.6bn) development loan to Airbus to assist with the development of the A350, which one official said conforms to WTO rules. The report also noted that the German government was also in negotiations with Airbus to secure more narrowbody production in Germany, particularly for the A30X which will replace the A320 from some time in the mid 2020s.
Boeing’s vice president of executive, legal and regulatory affairs, Ted Austell, seized on the reports, which come ahead of the expected ruling by the WTO on aid given to Airbus for the A380 program. “On the eve of such an important decision, it is unfortunate and disappointing to see news reports quoting a senior German official saying that Germany is prepared to provide €1.1bn for the development of the Airbus A350 – a move that flies in the face of both the expected WTO decision and the rules based global trading system we’ve all endorsed.
“Illegal European subsidies have done great harm to the US aerospace industry. It’s time to level the playing field and let companies compete on product, price, innovation, and customer support without market distorting government subsidies,” he added.
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