Exclusive: EU wants talks with U.S. over Boeing-De Gucht

BUENOS AIRES Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:10pm EDT

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said on Wednesday the only way to resolve a dispute over U.S. government subsidies to Boeing was to reach "a negotiated settlement."

The EU said it had won a dispute against the subsidies for Boeing that it hoped would set the stage for negotiated settlement that would allow European governments to continue to help Airbus develop new aircraft.

"This was a very thorough analysis which in fact supports our view in this dispute and I hope that everybody will be convinced that the right way out of this is to have negotiations and that's the only good solution we can find," De Gucht told Reuters during a visit to Argentina.

He spoke after a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel issued a confidential report on the dispute.

"My position has always been that the United States administration and the European Commission should engage in negotiations about this," he added. "The only way out of this dispute is in fact by finding a negotiated settlement."

A European source said the EU prevailed in most of the $24 billion of claims it had brought over allegations of unfair federal, state and local aid to Boeing.

Two U.S. sources familiar with the case said the WTO panel found Boeing had benefited from federal and other subsidies, but to a much lower extent than its European adversaries suggest.

Boeing argues any aid for which Washington is faulted pales in comparison with subsidies for Airbus that were denounced by the WTO in a ruling in a parallel case.

Both sides have accused the other of giving out misinformation. The latest findings are not expected to be published for several months.

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