EU rejects U.S. claim to have weaned Boeing off subsidies

Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:03pm EDT
 
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By Tom Miles

GENEVA (Reuters) - U.S. aircraft giant Boeing (BA.N: Quote) is still getting U.S. subsidies despite Washington's claim to have stopped the handouts, the European Union said on Tuesday in the latest round of the world's biggest trade dispute.

The EU's claim came one day after the U.S. Trade Representative's office said it had complied with a ruling by a World Trade Organisation dispute panel that found Boeing had benefited from illegal payments. The United States had until September 23 to comply.

"We had expected that the U.S. would have finally complied in good faith with its international commitments and would have abided by the WTO rulings that clearly condemned U.S. subsidies to Boeing", EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said in a statement.

"We are disappointed that this does not seem to be the case. So, the U.S. leaves us with no other choice but to insist on proper compliance before the World Trade Organisation. We are confident that this process will finally lead to a level playing field in the aircraft sector."

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative's office said the United States was confident it has fully complied with the WTO ruling against U.S. subsidies for Boeing, but was still studying the EU's claim it had not.

"Based on our initial review, the EU simply does not account for many of the changes announced by the United States. For example, the EU included programs in its request that we made clear have been terminated," USTR spokeswoman Andrea Mead said.

A U.S. industry official, speaking on condition that he not be identified, said the EU appeared to have decided to challenge the U.S. submission before it was even filed.

Typically, a country would first ask for more information and only take action if still dissatisfied, he said.   Continued...