EU and U.S. versus Airbus and Boeing Co. on case of illegal subsidies

The EU and U.S. on Friday agreed to start a process to gather information relating to alleged illegal subsidies paid to rival airplane makers Airbus and Boeing Co., moving the complicated WTO dispute a further step forward.

The two trade powers agreed to appoint Mateo Diego-Fernandez, a senior Mexican trade official, to oversee the process, which involves the collection of data on markets and similar companies from other World Trade Organization members which will be used to assess the Airbus and Boeing subsidies, the AP reports.

The WTO set up legal panels two months ago to investigate cases brought by the two trade powers accusing each other of illegally subsidizing the aircraft makers, but the European Union said it required more consultations before it could allow further investigations.

"We are confident that the procedures which we have agreed upon will allow both the (EU) and the U.S. to prepare properly in each dispute towards a resolution of both disputes," the EU said in a statement to the WTO's dispute settlement body.

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