German ambassador to the U.S. seeks end to long-lasting aircraft subsidy dispute

For the best part of sixteen years a dispute has existed between the U.S. and Europe over what have been deemed unfair government subsidies. While the U.S. objected to those granted to Airbus, The U.K, France, Spain, and Germany objected to those subsidies which had been given to Boeing by the U.S government.

Emily Haber, Germany’s ambassador to the United States is looking to draw the dispute to a close so that the two sides can form a more productive relationship to counteract the destructive forces of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aircraft industry on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition, Haber also expressed concerns over China’s development of its own commercial aircraft which have the potential to challenge Boeing and Airbus’ global duopoly. “It is one of the issues that needs to be solved very early on,”

Haber said, underscoring the need to “get the priorities right, especially at a time when aircraft industries are really suffering from the consequences of the pandemic.” Trade and climate change were two additional areas where Haber felt that a mutually cooperative relationship was essential, while underscoring the message the two economies were sending the Russians, and particularly the Chinese, who she saw as a divisive country, citing recent events between China and Australia. “They’re trying to pit us against each other,” she said. “But if we want to shape an alliance in order to confront this behavior … the obvious answer is we have to create a common ground which is as large as possible.”

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