The US and Europe insisted last night they are willing to negotiate over subsidies to Boeing and Airbus, after a weekend rift plunged talks into crisis and prompted renewed threats of litigation at the World Trade Organisation.
In what was seen as a slight softening of the tone from Washington, the US Trade Representative spokesman Richard Mills said negotiations could continue but only on the basis agreed by the two sides on 11 January.
Behind the scenes, Washington has accused the EU side of trying to move the goalposts, while the EU says the Americans want to push the negotiations beyond the original three-month deadline.Mr Mills said last night: "We are very willing to continue talks using the 11 January agreement as a basis and we are willing to extend the terms of the 11 Januaryagreement beyond that deadline".
It remained unclear whether either side had budged on points of substance. The US fears the EU is backing away from a readiness to give up launch aid for Airbus, while European moves to include in the talks Japanese subsidies offered to Boeing have infuriated the US.Reuse content