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|Saturday, January 13, 2001, updated at 13:54(GMT+8)|
EU Challenges US Funding for BoeingThe European Union on Friday challenged the United States funding for the Boeing aircraft program by alleging that the US subsidies may break a bilateral agreement.
The 15-nation bloc made this remark while refuting a US charge over the union's funding for its Airbus A380 development project.
An EU official said that the union was concerned about the fact that US subsidies for Boeing is in the excess of the 3-percent- of-turnover quota as set forth in the 1992 EU-US agreement on support in the aircraft industry. EU sources said that they estimated that indirect government subsidies to Boeing totaled around 7.5 percent of the company's turnover in 1998.
In an EU-US consultation on civil aircraft funding held in Washington on Thursday, the EU raised its concerns over US subsidies for Boeing.
Outgoing US President Bill Clinton warned the EU in December that a new transatlantic trade war could break out over EU governments' funding for the planned Airbus superjumbo, expected to be a third of the 10.7-billion-US-dollar development cost.
The EU argued that Boeing receives indirect subsidies through programs financed by the US military and US space agency NASA.
The EU said that the union's support to Airbus is in the form of repayable loans and not subsidies and that the superjumbo aid will honor the 1992 agreement.
EU trade spokesman Anthony Gooch told the press on Friday that the EU had invited US officials to hold another round of consultation in Brussels in July but there was no immediate response from the American side.
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