Airbus urges airlines to pressure Boeing over subsidy row

The United States and Europe have been locked in a 15-year spat over mutual claims of illegal aid to plane giants. (File/AFP)
Updated 02 June 2019
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Airbus urges airlines to pressure Boeing over subsidy row

SEOUL: Airbus has written to airline leaders to appeal for their backing in a trade dispute with rival Boeing, warning of higher aircraft prices and passenger fares if the United States and European Union descend into a tariff war.
The appeal was issued in a letter to several airline bosses meeting in Seoul where the International Air Transport Association has warned of the impact of broader global trade tensions, a person familiar with the issuance of the letter told Reuters.
The United States and Europe have been locked in a 15-year spat over mutual claims of illegal aid to plane giants.
US President Donald Trump threatened last month to impose tariffs on $11 billion of European goods including planes and their parts, prompting the European Union to propose a list of $20 billion worth of US imports it could hit in retaliation.
“If the tariffs are applied, the effects would include greatly increased costs to US and European airlines, aerospace suppliers and manufacturers,” Airbus sales chief Christian Scherer said in the text of the letter seen by Reuters.
It asked airlines to “urge Boeing to enter into the negotiations proposed by the EU and Airbus.”
Airbus and Boeing had no immediate comment.
It is the first time either company has sought to directly involve the airline industry in the dispute, which is the largest ever handled by the World Trade Organization.
US carrier Delta Air Lines has said it opposes the US tariff threats, saying they harm US interests.
Delegates at the IATA talks said airlines would weigh carefully whether to step directly into the aircraft dispute which has laid bare intense competition for plane orders and which has cost the warring parties tens of millions of dollars.
But IATA, which groups 290 airlines representing 82 percent of global traffic, is expected to express growing concerns about a worsening pattern of global trade tensions which has already depressed cargo business and threatens some passenger demand.


Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

Updated 26 June 2019
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Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

  • The MF has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy
  • ‘If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained’

MANAMA: IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Wednesday that major economic growth was possible in the Palestinian territories if all sides showed urgency, as she took part in a US-led conference boycotted by the Palestinian leadership.
The International Monetary Fund has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy, with tax revenue blocked in a dispute with Israel which has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade.
“If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained,” said Lagarde.
The IMF chief is attending a conference in Bahrain to discuss the economic aspects of a United States plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, which has already been rejected by the Palestinians as it fails to address key political issues.
Lagarde said for the US plan to work “it will require all the goodwill in the world on the part of all parties — private sector, public sector, international organizations and the parties on the ground and their neighbors.”
Citing examples of post-conflict countries, Lagarde said that private investors needed progress in several sectors including strengthening the central bank, better managing public finance and mobilizing domestic revenue.
“If anti-corruption is really one of the imperatives of the authorities — as it was in Rwanda, for instance — then things can really take off,” she said.
The plan presented by White House adviser Jared Kushner calls for $50 billion of investment in the Palestinian territories and its neighbors within a decade.
The proposals for infrastructure, tourism, education and more aim to create one million Palestinian jobs.
Gross domestic product in the Gaza Strip declined by eight percent last year, while there was only minor growth in the West Bank.
Kushner, opening the conference on Tuesday, called the plan the “Opportunity of the Century” — and said the Palestinians needed to accept it before a deal can be reached on political solutions.
The Palestinian Authority has rejected the conference, saying that the US and Israel are trying to dangle money to impose their ideas on a political settlement.
Washington says it will unveil the political aspects of its peace deal at a later date, most likely after Israel’s September election.