Sat, Apr 09, 2005
Negotiations to Continue
The United States and
the European Union plan to continue talks past an April 11th
deadline and avoid going back to WTO litigation. The ongoing
dispute over aid to aircraft manufacturers has been heated.
"Both sides should now pause for further thought and review the
situation," said EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said in a
statement on Saturday according to a Reuters report. He expressed
regret that no deal had yet been reached, but was not surprised
because the issues are complex.
In March, the US accused the EU of attempting to broaden the Jan
11th talk terms to include Japanese support of Boeing and some tax
benefits that the World Trade Organization has frowned upon. Both
sides had agreed to negotiate a subsidy elimination deal by April
11th, in lieu of continuing WTO litigation.
"The United States continues to believe that such an agreement
would be a useful solution to this important issue, and remains
prepared to negotiate on the basis of the January 11 agreement,
including the 'standstill' on subsidies," said Richard Mills, a
spokesman for the US trade office. "In the event that the EU
proceeds with additional subsidies for Airbus large civil aircraft,
the United States will return to WTO dispute settlement."
The main objective of the US negotiators is to eliminate new
loans that unfairly help Airbus development. The A380 program
received more than $15 billion in loans for its development from EU
member nations, and both Boeing and the US Trade Office are trying
to prevent government loans from going to develop the Airbus A350,
designed to compete with the Boeing 787.
"The EU remains interested in reaching an initial agreement that
reduces the levels of government support in the sector and
completing a comprehensive agreement in the longer-term. I stand
ready to continue negotiations," said Mandelson.
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