DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky
April 19, 2024
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In a PR piece just received, Airbus quotes its CEO Tom Enders responding to the WTO announcement of a further delay of the report in the Boeing subsidies case (DS 353):

“We are surprised and disappointed by the last minute announcement of yet another delay by the Boeing subsidies panel.  We are, however, not surprised by the apparent difficulties the WTO is faced with.

We have said time and again that the complexity, interconnectedness and industrial significance of the Boeing and Airbus cases would strain the capabilities of the WTO.  Since these cases were filed, the world has changed. In aviation, the previous duopoly marketplace is increasingly being populated by government-sponsored players, leaving Boeing and Airbus as those that, by any objective measure, benefit least from government support.

The ongoing struggle of the WTO to address the world as it was in 2004 (the date the cases were filed) raises the question whether it can succeed in its basic mission to create a climate for a negotiated settlement on the basis of fair market rules in the interest of both the industry and the employees on both sides of the Atlantic.

Another delay is a disappointment. But we are looking forward to the Boeing subsidies panel report. It will eventually come, and it will show: Boeing has received billions of dollars in WTO illegal subsidies.

The importance of this report is greater, however, than a simple vindication of the obvious fact that Boeing aircraft such as the B787 would not exist without government subsidies.

When the two WTO reports are published, those nations whose industries are building the aviation technologies of tomorrow can consider the WTO’s views on the past to craft new market rules that efficiently guarantee fair trade, a level playing field and continuous technology investment.”

Besides the obvious position Mr Enders takes viz. Boeing has also benefited from state aid, perhaps the most interesting statement (and certainly one Boeing would likely agree with) is the one regarding the end of the duopoly.  Clearly China and Russia could not care one whit about the WTO with respect to protecting their aerospace industries.  Canada and Brazil are more circumspect, but they too support local favorites.

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