August 15, 2018 / 7:20 PM / a month ago

U.S. says EU stalling on Airbus, blocks request for WTO compliance panel

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States said on Wednesday the European Union and four of its planemaker states have failed to bring subsidies for Airbus (AIR.PA) into line with a WTO ruling of last May, an accusation refuted by the EU.

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Airbus is seen as an Airbus Beluga XL transport plane prepares to take off during its first flight event in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, July 19, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

The EU asked the WTO last week to certify that it has complied with WTO rulings that found its Airbus subsidies illegal, attempting to forestall billions of dollars of U.S. retaliatory sanctions.

However, at Wednesday’s meeting of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body, the EU’s request to set up a fresh panel to rule on its “full compliance” was blocked by the U.S. delegation. The next meeting is on Aug. 27 where the row is expected to surface again.

“As we sit here today, the EU and these four member states still have not provided even the most basic information about alleged amendments made to certain launch aid contracts,” the U.S. delegation said, referring to Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

The WTO appeals body ruled on May 15 that the EU had failed to remove subsidized government development loans for the world’s largest airliner, the A380, and Europe’s newest long-haul jet, the A350, causing losses for Boeing and U.S. aerospace workers.

The two trading powers have been locked in a 14-year dispute over funding to Airbus and U.S. rival Boeing (BA.N).

The EU has complained to the WTO against prohibited support it says Washington has given Boeing and a parallel panel ruling on that complaint is expected later this year.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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