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Penal duties in Airbus dispute hit the wrong people


13 Aug 2020



Brussels/Frankfurt, 13 August 2020 – The dispute over subsidies for the aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the resulting US punitive tariffs on European products are a burden for companies from Germany. VDMA rejects these measures of the American government as they are counterproductive. In addition, they affect companies from the mechanical engineering industry that have nothing to do with the original subsidies to Airbus and Boeing. For example, manufacturers of certain tools, induction furnaces or special excavators are still affected.

"The EU's trade relations with the United States need to be relaxed, not further escalated," emphasizes Thilo Brodtmann, VDMA Executive Director. The US punitive tariffs on European products in connection with the Airbus dispute are indeed in line with the rules of the WTO.

"However, in the Corona crisis with its serious economic consequences, the USA and the EU should beware of further depressing the mood in the economy through new tariffs," Brodtmann warns. Especially since in July France and Spain had already given in. Both countries had agreed with Airbus to change the terms of the repayable start-up investments they had granted for the development of the A350 model.

VDMA therefore calls on the EU and the American government to engage in a constructive dialogue. The task now is to find a negotiated solution that will finally end the dispute over subsidies for the two aircraft manufacturers. The World Trade Organization (WTO) must also play its part in this and ensure that there are no further delays in the case of the Boeing subsidies and that a decision is also reached here soon.

A photo of Thilo Brodtmann, Executive Director of VDMA, can be found here

Do you have any questions? Olaf Engelbert, VDMA Foreign Trade Department, will gladly answer them:; +49 69 6603 1120. Germany.

The VDMA represents around 3300 German and European companies in the mechanical engineering industry. The industry represents innovation, export orientation, medium-sized companies and employs around four million people in Europe, more than one million of them in Germany.

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VDMA European Office
BluePoint Building
Boulevard A. Reyers 80
B - 1030 Brüssel
Tel. + 32 2 706 8205, Fax + 32 2 706 8210
President: Carl Martin Welcker
Executive Director: Thilo Brodtmann
Vereinsregister beim Amtsgericht Frankfurt Nr. VR4278