International Trade: Statement of Chairman Bernd Lange on the Airbus case
I take note of today’s decision of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on the level of possible countermeasures permitted to offset European subsidies provided earlier to European aircraft maker Airbus.
With a similar ruling expected in a parallel case against American aerospace company Boeing, the Trade Committee considers that the mutual imposition of sanctions to be counterproductive and harmful for global trade and businesses both in the EU and the US.
The Trade Committee calls on the US to engage in discussing the EU’s concrete proposals, which were proposed in July, to reach a fair and balanced solution for our respective aircraft industries. Negotiations are always better than a “tit for tat” approach. I deeply regret the US administration‘s unwillingness to negotiate.
In addition, the Trade Committee reiterates that it is unacceptable that the US continues to block the appointment of judges to the dispute settlement body of the WTO, rendering its operations impossible by December. As illustrated by the Airbus and Boeing cases, the mechanism is working, and the US resorts to its services. Therefore we call on the US to end blocking the nominations and allow the working of the arbitration body which is essential to the functioning of the organisation.
The WTO released its ruling on the Airbus subsidies today, establishing the right of the United States to levy tariffs on up to USD7.5 billion worth of European exports. The penalty was levied for excessive European subsidies to the aircraft maker Airbus.