PARIS --- Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury warned in London today that all aerospace companies, including Boeing, would be damaged if the current trade tensions escalate into sanctions.
“Trade tensions are lose-lose tensions,” Faury told reporters on a visit to London, Reuters reported Thursday morning.
As part of the ongoing war between Europe and the United States over illegal subsidies and unfair support to their respective commercial aircraft manufacturers, the US has threatened to impose tariffs worth up to $20 billion on a range of goods produced in the European Union.
But as the World Trade Organisation has found that Boeing has engaged in illegal and unfair practices to sell its own aircraft, and has benefited from illegal government subsidies, the EU is also entitled to levy of tariffs for a comparable amount on US-made goods imported into the Union.
Tariffs on both sides would cancel each other out, and prevent a negotiated solution that many observers agree is the only feasible solution to this long-standing, expensive and ultimately pointless dispute.
Legal action considered
Faury also confirmed comments made last week by Dirk Hoke, the chief executive of Airbus Defense and Space, who said that the company was considering legal action against the German government.
"We are in communication with the German government concerning outstanding export licences for defence equipment and how the situation is impacting our business. ….The decisions of the German government hinder Airbus from fulfilling existing contracts with customers…[which is] harmful to our business. We therefore reserve all rights and are reviewing possible options," Hoke told the Germans newsweekly Der Spiegel.
In its first-quarter financial results, Airbus took a charge of €109 million on defense contracts with Saudi Arabia, and “Without doubt, a resolution must be arrived at as soon as possible,” Hoke said.