The EU has requested consultations with US in the World Trade Organization, the first step in the WTO's dispute settlement process, over US subsidies granted to Boeing. The EU's action follows Wednesday's announcement by the US Trade Representative that it will file a complaint with the WTO over EU subsidies to Airbus (see this previous report on JURIST's Paper Chase). According to EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy:
The US move in the WTO concerning European support to Airbus is obviously an attempt to divert attention from Boeings self-inflicted decline. It also shows that the US were never seriously interested in seeking to renegotiate the existing 92 EU-US Bilateral Agreement. If this is the path the US has chosen, we accept the challenge, not least because it is high time to put an end to massive illegal US subsidies to Boeing which damage Airbus, in particular those for Boeings new 7E7 programme. Nonetheless, it is a pity that the US has chosen to go to litigation which could destabilize trade and investment, including in Boeings 7E7 project. Aerospace workers can rely on the European Commission to defend their interests.Read the EU's press release. The EU also provides an overview of the civil aircraft sector, including its 1992 agreement with the US on trade in large civil aircraft. BBC News has background on the dispute between the US and EU over the subsidies.