July 20, 2005

WTO launches probe into Airbus-Boeing complaints

GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Trade Organization (WTO) on
Wednesday launched probes into alleged illegal state aid for
Europe's Airbus and the U.S. Boeing, setting in motion
potentially the biggest ever trade fight.

Trade officials said the Geneva-based trade referee agreed
to set up twin panels of trade judges to investigate
accusations by Brussels and Washington of excessive aid they
each have supposedly given to the world's two top civil
aircraft makers.

The decision was automatic under WTO rules. The battle over
Airbus and Boeing begins just as the United States and the
European Union are struggling to give impetus to struggling WTO
free trade talks.