Commentary: Airframers Engage In War Of Words - Aviation Daily
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg
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October 30, 2017 - By Tom Captain | Aviation Daily
The recent announcement of the Airbus acquisition for majority control of the Bombardier C Series program has again intensified the debate by industry titans regarding fair competition in the commercial aircraft business.
We have seen this before. The U.S. Commerce Department, the U.S. International Trade Commission, the EU and World Trade Organization all have had a say in this debate, but clarity still eludes us.
Many industries obtain economic assistance where there is strategic importance and opportunity for regional benefit. The current frenzy to offer huge incentives by cities to lure Amazon's second headquarters comes to mind. Going back, the U.S. government's bailout of Penn Central, General Motors and the financial industry during tough economic times are good examples. It is difficult to label what is a subsidy, be it unfair, especially in the commercial aircraft business.
Witness the EU Framework agreements providing support for research and development for jet engine development, the 2003-14 Washington state economic development package, or the low interest, non-recourse, repayable loans by France, Germany, UK and Spain for Airbus programs. Bombardier received capital infusion from Canada and Quebec. The Comac ARJ21, C919 and CR929 programs have and are planned to be funded by respective governments. Less obvious economic assistance are work-for-free programs in exchange for university credit by engineering students, or environmental relief granted by German regional authorities to extend the Hamburg runway (Airbus final assembly plant). It all represents external help, but is it an unfair subsidy?
National Interest And Economics
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg, in that the 130-seat market segment is ...