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Public Statements

Cantwell Says World Trade Organization Ruling Should End Illegal Airbus Subsidies

Statement

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Cantwell Says World Trade Organization Ruling Should End Illegal Airbus Subsidies

Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement on the World Trade Organization's (WTO) final ruling that European nations provided Airbus with prohibited subsidies:

"Today's decision is a definitive victory for the United States and U.S. commercial aviation. Subsidies distort the true market and create unfair competition with those who compete without them. The WTO has found that Airbus has benefited from illegal European government subsidies for their planes, including the Airbus A330, A340 and A380 aircraft. They should stop this tactic with the A350 and compete on a level playing field.

"The WTO's final ruling concludes that every alleged instance of launch aid by European governments to Airbus violated WTO rules. I applaud the WTO's decision.

"The decision means that countries with commercial aircraft industries and those that have emerging aircraft industries cannot provide illegal government subsidies to those industries.

"The subsidies were deemed significant enough that they distorted the international commercial aviation market. These same standards should apply equally to the Airbus A350, and any future launch aid for other commercial models.

"It is bad for the international aviation marketplace if governments continue to subsidize planes thereby distorting the price of the product. As a result of these subsidies, true competition is distorted.

"Unfair subsidies must not influence the U.S. Air Force's air refueling tanker competition. The final RFP does not account for these unfair subsidies. The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, of which Airbus is a part, should not be allowed to compete for the tanker contract by effectively lowering their bid price by competing with a tanker developed with the benefit of unfair, illegal subsidies. EADS cannot be allowed to use these subsidies to lowball its bid for this important defense contract.

"U.S. companies like Boeing can compete and win in the global marketplace for commercial and military aircraft as long as the playing field is level, with all parties playing by the rules. In this time of economic uncertainty, it is especially important that all nations live up to commitments made in international trade agreements.

"I am grateful to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative for five years of hard work on this case."


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