Disciplines on EU and US support
- On the one hand, the agreement puts a ceiling on the amount of direct government support (33% of the total development costs) for new aircraft programmes. It establishes that such support (granted in the form of launch investments, which are repayable royalty-based loans) will be repaid at an interest rate no less than the government cost of borrowing and within no more than 17 years. Basically, this discipline applies to the form of government support mainly in use in Europe.
- On the other hand, the agreement establishes that indirect support ( e.g. benefits provided for aeronautical applications of NASA or military programmes) should be limited to a 3% of the nation's LCA industry turnover. This discipline is primarily targeted at the support system in use in the US. In contrast to the European system of repayable launch investment there is no requirement for indirect support to be reimbursed and the generous ceiling of 3% is calculated on the larger basis of the turnover of the LCA industry and applies per individual year.
European governments provide repayable launch investment – not grants - to Airbus at the time of program launch. European government investments support the European technology research & development sector, just as US government R&D schemes have sought to do, through NASA, FAA, Department of Defence (DoD) and export tax relief programs. However, the EU governments spend three times less on aerospace R&D than the US government.
All European government loans for Airbus programs have been made entirely within the letter and the spirit of the 1992 US-EU Agreement on Trade in Large Civil Aircraft since its entry into force and this will continue to be the case for all future Airbus programs. The US have not disputed this fact.
Of the eight Airbus aircraft launched since 1990, only three programs have been launched with government investment.
Airbus pays royalties to governments over the entire life of the aircraft programs. Interest and principal is repaid on deliveries, even before the programs break-even and irrespective of the sale price
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