Hypocrites Try to Rig the Aircraft Market
If you cannot get an upper-hand in sales, just get your government to bully your competitors.
The European Union is trying to get the World Trade Organization to impose $12 billion worth of trade sanctions against the USA for illegal subsidies to Boeing.
The $12 billion figure is "based on estimates of the damage suffered by the EU due to unfair and biased competition from the U.S. industry," according to the EU.
They are hardly one to complain. The EU does the exact same thing to prop up Airbus.
At the same time, the USA shouldn't complain about the possible trade sanctions. After all, they are trying to impose $10 billion in sanctions on the EU for illegal subsidies to Airbus.
These rather dull, white-collar fights and retaliatory tariffs are nothing new for the WTO, although the sanctions are the largest ever proposed.
Currently, the USA, Japan and the EU are using a WTO complaint to go after China for rare earth element export quotas. Another point of contention is Chinese solar power components that are flooding the world market and driving other manufacturers to the brink of bankruptcy.
Perhaps the most convoluted, and seemingly endless, quarrel is over farming subsidies around the world. Countries complain about USA subsidies while using the exact same tools to prop up their agriculture.
For now, none of these issues are being resolved, especially the airplane subsidies. As is often the case, the dispute seems to have degenerated into token jabs through press statements.
Airbus spokeswoman Maggie Bergsma stated,"We regret that Boeing continues a legal battle that should have long been resolved by a mutual agreement. We made offers time and again but are ready to fight it through if the other side wishes to do so."
Not too long after, U.S. Ambassador to the WTO Michael Punke hit back with, “...through the WTO dispute resolution process there have been identified $19 billion of illegal financing by Airbus. The equivalent number that has been identified for Boeing is $3-4 billion. So that's the starting point for our discussion.”
Both claims are functionally on hold until other legal avenues have been exhausted. Many experts expect the two sides will settle outside the courtroom instead of dealing with a protracted court battle over several years.
Considering neither of them will look like much of a victim in the eyes of any court, perhaps that would be for the best.+5
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