Statement by Karel De Gucht on a WTO Airbus Case
Type: Speech - summary
End production: 18/05/2011 First transmission: 18/05/2011
On 18 May 2011, Karel De Gucht, Member of the EC in charge of Trade, welcomed the WTO Appellate Body report on the Airbus case.
The Appellate Body has overturned several key findings made by the Panel. Most importantly, the Appellate Body found that support provided by Germany, Spain and the UK for the launch of Airbus' A380 aircraft is not a prohibited export subsidy under WTO Law. It also rejected the US appeal that other instances of Repayable Launch Investment (RLI) were export subsidies.
Since October 2004, the EU and United States have been contesting at the WTO their Governments' respective support to their aerospace industries. Both WTO challenges relate to alleged illegal WTO support to Airbus and Boeing respectively over a 20 to 30 year period.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Soundbite by Karel De Gucht, Member of the EC in charge of Trade (in ENGLISH): we are very pleased with the outcome of the Appellate Body because it states very clearly that the Repayable Launch Investment is not per se against the WTO rules. Only when certain conditions are met which means that is not an export subsidy and it is very important for us. Also with respect to research for example, all the inputs have been judged upon favourably and also for certain infrastructure work. Yes, we have still some adjustments to make, for example on Repayable Launch Investments in some specific cases and we will do so.
||Soundbite by Karel De Gucht (in ENGLISH) answering to the question "how could we find a solution to this case in the future?": that has always been our opinion for already more than a year ago, when I started in this job. I hope that this decision by the Appellate Body is finally convincing the Americans that the best solution is to sit together without precondition and discuss about the future.
||Soundbite by Karel De Gucht (in FRENCH) saying that the outcome by the Appellate Body is certainly positive as Repayable Launch Investment is no longer per se considered in opposition to the rules of the WTO, only in some cases and under certain conditions. In this regard, Airbus will benefit from this decision.
||Soundbite by Karel De Gucht (in FRENCH) answering to the question "how could we find a solution to this case in the future?" saying that it depends on both stakeholders, we have always said that we were ready to start negotiations without any precondition, and we are still ready for negotiations. The United States and the American administration as well as Boeing should now let know what their position is.
||Cutaways of Airbus manufacture and Boeing (7 shots)