US urges quick result on Airbus subsidy dispute

7th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 7 (AFP) - The United States wants rapid progress in resolving a dispute with the European Union on public aid to rival aircraft makers Boeing and Airbus, and will call for World Trade Organisation mediation if US-EU talks do not produce results soon, US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said Tuesday.

PARIS, Dec 7 (AFP) - The United States wants rapid progress in resolving a dispute with the European Union on public aid to rival aircraft makers Boeing and Airbus, and will call for World Trade Organisation mediation if US-EU talks do not produce results soon, US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said Tuesday.

"We are serious about the litigation option and we won't wait long if we don't see progress and results," Zoellick told a forum organised here by the US magazine Newsweek.

"We believe everybody should stop the subsidies and let's move quickly," he added.

On Monday, Zoellick and EU counterpart Peter Mandelson announced that the United States and the European Union had agreed to allow more time for talks to settle a row over government help to European aircraft maker Airbus and US rival Boeing, but said arbitration by the WTO remained an option.

Both sides had filed complaints with the trade body on October 6 but were to decide by Monday whether to ask the WTO to name a panel to resolve the dispute or to carry on with their bilateral discussions.

The United States contends that Airbus benefits from government subsidies that violate international trade rules. The EU for its part maintains that Boeing has received illegal subsidies in the form of major contracts from US defence and space agencies.

"I think the differences are still significant on this," Zoellick said Tuesday.

On Monday, Mandelson told reporters: "If we are going to avoid litigation in pursuit of the cases that both of us have now entered, we are going to have to have some pretty serious discussions about the alternative to that litigation."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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