EU executive says Airbus move should settle WTO dispute with U.S.

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union’s executive said on Friday Airbus’ move to accept higher interest rates on loans from European governments should settle a WTO row with the United States, and that it would retaliate with sanctions should that not happen.

“The European Union ... France, Spain and Germany ... are in full compliance with the rulings of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the Airbus case. This removes any grounds for the U.S. to maintain its countermeasures on EU exports and makes a strong case for a rapid settlement of the long-running dispute,” the European Commission said in a statement.

The bloc’s top trade official, Phil Hogan, also said: “In the absence of a settlement, the EU will be ready to fully avail itself of its own sanction rights.”

The Commission said the scale and scope of any retaliation would be decided based on a WTO arbitration ruling in a parallel case on U.S. subsidies to Boeing.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Kate Abnett; Editing by Mark Potter