Airbus moves to end long-standing WTO dispute and US tariffs

(Photo: Airbus)

Airbus has agreed with the governments of France and Spain to make amendments to the A350 Repayable Launch Investment (RLI) contracts. It said that: “…after 16 years of litigation at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), this is the final step to stop the long-standing dispute and removes any justification for US tariffs.”
An Airbus statement issued on July 24 said the tariffs set by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) are “currently harming all targeted industry sectors, including US airlines, and are adding to a very difficult environment as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis.”

This, it said, he led it: “to make a final step to remove the last contentious point and amend the French and Spanish contracts to what the WTO considers the appropriate interest rate and risk assessment benchmarks. The WTO has already ruled that RLI is a valid instrument for governments to partner with industry by sharing investment risks. With this final move, Airbus considers itself in complete compliance with all WTO rulings.”
The company’s CEO Guillaume Faury, commented: “We have fully complied with all the WTO requirements. These additional amendments to the A350 RLIs demonstrate that Airbus has left no stone unturned to find a way towards a solution. “This is a clear signal of support to those who are suffering from the severe impact of the tariffs imposed by the USTR, especially at a time when industries are hard hit by the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.”