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Last Updated: Monday, 2 May, 2005, 20:23 GMT 21:23 UK
EU and US hopes over aircraft row
A prototype of a giant Airbus A380 is towed to a testing area near the French city of Toulouse.
Alleged aircraft subsidies are at the centre of the dispute
The US and EU trade commissioners, Rob Portman and Peter Mandelson, say they hope to use talks, and not legal means, to solve the Airbus and Boeing row.

The two sides are in a trade dispute over how much alleged state aid each is giving to help its aircraft makers.

European negotiators are keen to avert a possible economic showdown at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Mr Mandelson and Portman met at an OECD meeting in Paris on Monday and agreed to work for a "negotiated solution".

Deadline missed

The EU and US accuse each other of boosting their industries with illegal state subsidies.

The dispute between the two sides intensified after Airbus started producing what will become the world's largest passenger plane, the A380 superjumbo.

The US accuses the EU of having funded the project with generous subsidies, while the EU claims that Boeing is receiving similar help in the US for its mid-sized 7E7, now 787 Dreamliner plane.

On 11 January, the US government and EU gave themselves 90 days to resolve their dispute over aircraft subsidies instead of suing each other through the WTO.

That deadline was missed in the middle of April, and have been looking at ways to strike a deal since then.

Doha Round

"Mr Mandelson and Mr Portman agreed that a negotiated solution remained the most desirable option. They agreed to continue their dialogue," said a joint statement released by the European Commission in Brussels.

However the two parties have not yet drawn up a timetable to restart formal negotiations.

"The meeting was consensual, constructive, quite brief and most of it was to do with the Doha Round," said Mr Mandelson's spokeswoman, Claude Veron-Reville.

She was referring to the stalled WTO negotiations which are supposed to draw to a conclusion at the end of 2005, and which both men have said they are committed to re-invigorating.

Q&A: Boeing and Airbus
07 Oct 04 |  Business

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