FARNBOROUGH: European ministers see Airbus WTO ruling positive

Farnborough
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European ministers say they will continue to provide investment support to Airbus despite opposition from Boeing and the USA.

Speaking at the Airbus ministers event at Farnborough, the ministers responsible for the civil aerospace industries of the UK, France, Germany and Spain say the "repayable launch investment" support they give to Airbus passed the World Trade Organisation (WTO) appeals process.

They also say that the countries are putting measures into place to comply with other WTO rulings.

In attendance were the UK's minister for business and enterprise Mark Prisk, Peter Hintze German parliamentary secretary in the ministry of economics and technology, Frédéric Cuvillier, France's minister for transport, sea and fisheries and Luis Valero, Spanish secretary general for industry and SMEs.

"The WTO case has gone quite positively for Europe", the ministers say, adding that it should lead to a "negotiated amicable solution".

Boeing has been lobbying the WTO for sanctions of up to $10 billion against Airbus after rejecting claims by the EU that it has ceased providing illegal subsidies. This is the latest round in the long-running dispute between the Europe and the USA over support for large aircraft manufacturers, now entering its eighth year within the WTO.

The ministers also confirmed that they had "noted Airbus' views on the implications for the European aerospace industry of the European Emissions Trading Scheme for aviation". While expressing a desire to reach a "long-term solution", they dismissed suggestions that the process was taking too long. "We're not going to establish an artificial deadline," says Prisk.