US Rep Says Airbus Must Forgo Gov't Help On A350
There may be a "window" of opportunity in the United States'
long-running dispute with Europe over development aid for Airbus
and Boeing aircraft. In fact, a top US trade official says an
agreement on the contentious issue may occur as soon as the end of
"There's a window that exists to negotiate a settlement on
Boeing and Airbus," said John Veroneau, the deputy US trade
representative, to the International Herald Tribune.
But -- and you knew there would be one -- Veroneau adds any
settlement would require EADS, the parent company of Airbus, to
forgo any government-backed financing for its new A350XWB wide-body
"We're seeking the elimination of government financing that is
not on commercial terms," Veroneau said of EADS, adding "we have a
strong interest in not having launch aid replaced as R&D
EADS has said it plans to cover the initial phase of the $13.2
billion development program in-house. However, the European
consortium hasn't ruled out asking governments with a stake in the
program for their help, especially as EADS must keep a
close eye on costs in the wake of development woes plaguing the
Representatives with the US and European Union have argued
before the World Trade Organization for nearly three years, each
stating the other takes unfair advantage of financial support from
their representative governments.
Officials in Europe say they're open
to talks... but (there's that word again) only if the US reviews
financial support and tax breaks given to Boeing.
"It has been clear that the US definition of a negotiation is
one that sees the total elimination of launch investment on the
Airbus side, but continuation of healthy subsidies for Boeing on
their side," said Peter Mandelson, the chief EU trade
negotiator, last week.
So, while that "window of opportunity" may indeed be open,
it appears there's still a pretty big shade covering the