The deadline for a deal in the Airbus-Boeing subsidy row has passed but neither side appears ready to heave a brick at the other.
Brussels and Washington put competing lawsuits at the World Trade Organisation on hold in January; But although talks broke down in March, and a self-imposed truce has expired, a European Commission spokeswoman said litigation would not go ahead without careful reflection:
“As long as no action is taken, there is a window of opportunity for negotiation. And while there is a chance to negotiate and to avoid dispute we should try to make good use of this period. But I want to stress as well that this period can not drag on for too long.”
She said Airbus would at some point seek soft loans to launch its latest plane.
European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson has said both companies receive financial support from government sources but Boeing more.
He says this can and should be reduced, but equally.
He and his U.S. counterpart acting in the matter, Robert Zoellick, now deputy secretary of state, are said to be having difficulty striking the same working rapport as Zoellick had with Mandelson’s predecessor Pascal Lamy.