Both US and EU 'guilty' over aircraft aid: EU commissioner

15th December 2011, Comments 1 comment

EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht said Thursday that the European Union and the United States, locked in a battle over subsidies to Airbus and Boeing, were "both guilty" in the affair.

"I think we are both guilty," De Gucht told a press conference at the sidelines of the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting under way in Geneva.

The commissioner said the EU and United States "have both taken government action" to support their aircraft industries.

There are two cases currently lodged with the WTO, one by Boeing against illegal subsidies for Airbus and a second by Airbus who made the same claim against its industry rival.

The EU responded this month to a WTO deadline to say how it intends to comply with the body's ruling to end unfair aid in the seven-year-old battle.

The case against Boeing is still working its way through the dispute process.

"We were supposed to come forward with our compliance by December 1 and we did so," said De Gucht, who said the EU was now waiting for a response.

"We think that what we have put forward is fully compliant on the topics that were put forward in this case," he added.

The United States has since threatened sanctions as it claims the EU has not only failed to comply with a WTO ruling against subsidies to Airbus but had even provided it new aid.

No comment from the trade body is expected on the case before December 19, when a session by its dispute settlement body is scheduled.

© 2011 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • eric posted:

    on 16th December 2011, 04:10:53 - Reply

    Neither party is clean in that exercise and that won't change no matter how often the WTO adjudicates on it. That said, one has to commend Boeing for employing a top salesman called Obama to sell its products, see Indonesia's recent Boeing order. Still, I give Airbus the edge in time to come because it can source its products anywhere on this globe, a cost cutting exercise not available to Boeing because it insists on building its planes in cumbersome medieval inches that nobody wants to use.