PARIS --- The United States has offered to settle a long-running aircraft subsidy dispute with the European Union and remove tariffs on wine, whisky and other products if Airbus AIR.PA repays billions of dollars in aid to European governments, several sources close to the matter told Reuters.
The offer was made by U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer days before the World Trade Organization's (WTO) release on Tuesday of a report authorising Brussels to slap counter-tariffs on U.S goods over subsidies to planemaker Boeing, the sources said.
Lighthizer’s proposal, however, is unlikely to win support from the EU, which appears set to ask the WTO at an Oct. 26 meeting to endorse $4 billion in EU tariffs on U.S. goods. The imposition of $7.5 billion of U.S. tariffs over Airbus subsidies has already started to hit European goods.
The USTR’s office and the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
The loans stand at the centre of a 16-year-old dispute that has bedevilled trade relations and spread to industries from luxury goods to agriculture as the two sides seek to punish aircraft subsidies with tariffs. (end of excerpt)
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