Trade war fears as Boeing dispute escalates
Thursday 17 July 1997
Jacques Chirac, the French President, warned that the deal between the aerospace giants could be dangerous for the European industry, particularly for Europe's Airbus planemaking consortium. He made his comments after a meeting of antitrust experts from the 15 European Union member states recommended unanimously banning the Boeing deal.
Mr Chirac said: "We strongly support the Commission on its position on Boeing/McDonnell ... it could be extremely dangerous for Europeans."
Additional support for the European cause came from Guenter Rexrodt, Germany's economics minister. He said Boeing's concessionary offer to report regularly to the EU on any cross-subsidies from McDonnell's military business to its own civilian operations "were not enough to win EU approval".
Airbus declined to comment. "We have said everything we have to say on the subject. This is an issue between Boeing and the Commission and it is not for us to comment any further," a spokesman said.
In reply to the statements made by Mr Chirac and Mr Rexrodt, a spokesman for the White House said last night: "We think the principles of competitiveness are those that ought to attend to the European Union's consideration of the proposed merger. We hope it will be done consistently with anti-trust law as it's applied within the [European] Union."
He also disclosed that the US government had been in consultation with EU authorities for the past 48 to 72 hours.
The recommendation by the panel of European experts to ban the Boeing deal yesterday came after five days of tense talks during which negotiators from the European Commission snubbed as insufficient a compromise proposal from Boeing to adapt the merger to meet some EU objections.
According to a source, "the advisory committee agreed with the Commission that the commitments offered by the parties to date are not sufficient to remedy the competition problems ... and do not prevent a strengthening of Boeing's dominant position". The European Commission is expected to follow the advice of the experts at its regular meeting on Wednesday.
Although the merger involves two US companies, European rejection of the deal could prevent the proposed company from operating in the key aircraft market of the 15 member states.
"Only a miracle could do something," said an EU official who asked not to be named.
Boeing, which has already had its deal approved by the US Federal Trade Commission, said it was disappointed that Europe had rejected its proposals.
"Clearly we're disappointed in view of the fact that we've submitted both structural and procedural remedies that are designed to protect competition concerns," said Gerald Hendin, Boeing's vice president for public affairs, at the company's headquarters in Seattle.
Even though an EU internal deadline to reach an agreement passed earlier this week, a spokesman said there was still time for a late compromise. "The door is ajar for them to bring in something nice and refreshing," an EU official said, but stressed that time was running out fast.
- 1 Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home
Iraq crisis: Isis orders Mosul shop keepers to cover mannequins
Comic Con 2014 attendees
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
iJobs Money & Business
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...
£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...