US to Seek Trade Sanctions in Airbus-Boeing Dispute

Posted March 30th, 2012 at 2:40 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. is calling on the World Trade Organization to investigate whether the European Union has ended its subsidies of Airbus, the world's biggest aircraft manufacturer.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk accused the EU of continuing illegal trade support of the French-based company and is seeking as much as $10 billion in trade sanctions. He said the Airbus subsidies have cost American aerospace companies billions of dollars in lost revenue and U.S. workers their jobs.

The U.S. complaint is set to be filed in mid-April. It is the latest chapter in a seven-year dispute over European support for Airbus and American assistance for U.S.-based Boeing, the world's second largest aircraft maker.

In earlier rulings, the WTO has determined that European governments have provided more than $18 billion in support for Airbus, while Boeing has received as much as $4 billion in various U.S. subsidies.