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EU takes action over Boeing

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by Brian Turner
EU takes action over Boeing

The European Union announced Tuesday that it will resume World Trade Organization action against the United States over what the EU alleges were illegal subsidies paid to US aircraft manufacturer Boeing by the US government.

Peter Mandelson, EU trade commissioner, also said he had not ruled out action against Japan as well for what have been called indirect subsidies from Japan to Boeing, which has moved some of its aircraft production to the Asian nation.

This return to litigation by the EU comes a day after the US said it would ask the WTO to convene a panel with the goal of stopping EU nations from aiding European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

The US position is that Airbus is no longer in need of governmental help because it is now the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer.

Even as he announced resumption of action against the US on the matter, Mr. Mandelson expressed the opinion that even if litigation goes forward, its outcome will not be definitive and more negotiations will be needed.

In any case, a decision on the matter by the WTO will not come for 18 to 24 months, giving the US and the EU more time to negotiate an end to the dispute.

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News posted: May 31, 2005

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