Airbus made a gesture of appeasement in the conflict between it and Boeing before the World Trade Organization, announcing on Friday that it would be "fully compliant" with WTO rules.
"After 16 years of litigation, this is the last step in order to put an end to this long-standing dispute and remove any justification for US tariffs," said the European aircraft manufacturer in a press release.
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Concretely, Airbus has reached an agreement with the Spanish and French governments to revise upwards the interest payable by the aircraft manufacturer on the reimbursable advances granted by Paris and Madrid during the launch of the A350 long-haul aircraft program.
This system of reimbursable advances makes it possible to limit the financial risks taken by an industrialist when launching large-scale projects.
Interest rates now "correspond to what the WTO considers to be interest rates and the appropriate risk assessment criteria," said Airbus.
Taxes on nearly $ 7.5 billion in imported goods
“We have fully met all the requirements of the WTO. These additional amendments to the RLIs (repayable advances, note) of the A350 demonstrate that Airbus did not neglect any detail to find a solution, ”said the executive chairman of Airbus, Guillaume Faury, quoted in the press release.
"This is a clear signal of support to those suffering from the violent impact of tariffs imposed by the USTR (the US Trade Representative), especially at a time when industries are being hit hard by the consequences of the crisis. of Covid-19, ”he adds.
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The United States was authorized in October by the WTO to impose taxes on nearly 7.5 billion dollars (6.8 billion euros) of European goods and services imported each year. This is the heaviest sanction ever imposed by the WTO.
Washington has since imposed punitive tariffs on certain products imported from the European Union (including wine, cheese and olives) up to 25%.
Customs taxes of 10% on Airbus planes were raised to 15% in March. They also affect the American airlines which equip themselves with the European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus point.
In a mirror procedure, the EU is waiting for the WTO to authorize it to also impose customs duties in reaction to undue subsidies paid this time by Washington to the American aircraft manufacturer. The decision should be made in September or October, according to a source familiar with the matter.