SEATTLE – President Bush (search) said Friday that European nations should end their subsidies of the plane manufacturer Airbus, saying the United States is prepared to take action before the World Trade Organization to stop them.
Bush made the comments after meeting with executives of Boeing (search) in Seattle. He said that he has instructed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick to inform European officials of the U.S. position at a meeting in September.
"We think these subsidies are unfair and that (Zoellick) should pursue all options to end these subsidies, including bringing a WTO (search) case if need be," Bush told reporters after the Boeing meeting.
"We think these subsidies should end," he said.
Bush said he is confident that American companies can compete with all foreign competitors as long as the playing field is level. Boeing and Airbus compete in a wide range of civilian and military aircraft markets.
"Getting rid of subsidies will make the trade fair," the president said.
Airbus, established in 1970 as a consortium of European companies, has received large government subsidies from European nations and continues to receive them. It is based in Toulouse, France.
"I think those subsidies are unfair," the president said. "It's unfair to this American company," meaning Boeing.