Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 8

Question 1:

Where do you stand? Do you think EU subsidies and soft loans to Airbus are fair?
Why or why not? What advantages does Airbus gain from free financial support from
EU governments? Are complaints about EU subsidies fair in light of Europes history
of democratic socialism? In my humble opinion,

I would stand on the Airbus side and would like to stress that the EU subsidies and
soft loans to Airbus are fair. It is because, there is nothing wrong for EU as an
economic and political union of European countries itself was built to help the firm
established within the zone of EU. According to Airbus website on 18th May 2011,
entitled WTO final ruling: Decisive victory for Europe stated that The World Trade
Organization (WTO) report released today constitutes the final blow to the Boeing-
sponsored myth that government support to Airbus somehow caused harm to Boeing.

After reading and analysing the case, there are reasons I would stand for Airbus and
express my approval for the subsidies and soft loans that they have received:

- Helping for the settlement of the firm inside the EU zone is the right thing to do
as an union of economy and politics. It is considered as an action of industrial
competitiveness, growth and job creation.
- In 2011, WTO report stated that supported loans for Airbus for the last 40 years
is not forbidden which against accusation about major portion of subsidies that
being made for Airbus by EU.

The WTO has now confirmed definitively that government loans are a legal instrument
and that none of the government loans made to Airbus over the past 40 years were
prohibited. It also reaffirms that, contrary to Boeings repeated assertions, the
subsidies did not cause any material injury to Boeing.1 Based on the statement
above, it clearly shows that the subsidies given to Airbus is permissible and thus,
should not be claimed by Boeing. Furthermore, according to Kayleigh and Tobias
(n.d.) EU action in giving out big portion of subsidies seems legal in order to aim at
industrial competitiveness, growth and job creation.

Since the American aircraft industry once held a significant market power from the 60s
onwards, European manufacturers had to react resulting in the Airbus Consortium and
appropriate launch aid. In fact, Boeing also have their indirect support from the US
government support as stated in the case study, which is through massive defence
contracts paid via tax dollars and other support from Pentagon and NASA. Plus,
Boeing also will be given billions of soft loans provided by Japanese firms only if the
aircraft is commercially successful. Apart from that, the money injection to Airbus will
worth nothing if Airbus itself has a weak management in terms of expertise and
technical know-how skills in providing the good aircraft. As for Boeing they should
believe that they could stand on their own feet because of the good quality of their
aircraft and technical know-how expertise could considered as sellable.

If the marketing on aircraft is made successfully then Japanese firms will give
billions of soft loans for Boeing.
If Airbus fails to manage their manufacture and technology then injected money
will be worthless.

In stead of worrying about Airbus, Boeing should put their priority in advantage of
expertise and technology which made their aircraft sellable easily.

Definitely, Airbus could gain substantial advantages from the free financial support
from the EU governments which are; first, Airbus will save their cost on production
since EU fully supported the R&D activities for the development of valuable new
technologies. Thus, indirectly, it would increase the knowledge on the aircraft industry.
Second, because of the free financial support provided by EU, Airbus could gain profit
much sooner compared to the other firms without any subsidies provided. Thirdly, it
would boost up the market share of Airbus and also outsell the Boeing as what had
been happened in the 2000s and it is supported by the study of Kayleigh and Tobias
(n. d.) on the impact of Airbus subsidies, it increased market share of Airbus and has
led to lower prices to consumers and Boeings monopolistic position has been

Lastly, based on the arguments above and the revelation of Europes history of
democratic socialism since 1940s, it is unfair to complain about the EU subsidies. It
is because, the democratic socialism is a broad political movement propagating the
ideals of socialism within the context of a democratic system and for the socialists,
they believe that economic inequality is bad for society and the government is
responsible to intervene for reducing it.Thus, it is unfair to complain about the EU
subsidies since the government intervention is the must for them in preserving their
political and economic stability.

In light of mentioned arguments and the history of democratic socialism of European,

which is believed as ideals of socialism, it is fair when talking about EU subsidies.
Their belief of inequality will result in negative unnecessary for the competitiveness of
society have the government intervened in order to reduce this phenomenal.

Question 2:

Do you believe U.S. military contracts with Boeing amount to subsidies? Have these
types of payments provided Boeing with unfair advantages? Justify your answer.

In order to answer the question, first of foremost we have to know the meaning and
examples of subsidies. The subsidies mean a benefit given by the government to
groups or individuals usually in the form of a cash payment or tax reduction. The
subsidies are usually given to remove some type of burden and are often considered
to be in the interest of the public. The examples of subsidies are welfare payments,
housing loan, students loan and others. In fact, there are other companies which got
subsidies like Intel received $3.8 billion, IBM got more than $1 billion and Microsoft
has pulled in $95 million.

Historically, competition between Airbus and Boeing has been happened in the large
jet airliner market since the 1990s. This resulted from a series of mergers within the
global aerospace industry, with Airbus beginning as a European consortium while the
American Boeing absorbed its former arch-rival, McDonnell Douglas in a 1997 merger.
Other manufacturers, such as Lockheed Martin and Convair in the United States and
British Aerospace, Dornier and Fokker in Europe, were no longer in a position to
compete effectively and withdrew from this market. To answer the question, we do
believe that U.S. military contracts with Boeing amount to subsidies and these types
of payments provided Boeing with unfair advantages. It is because the company totally
used its link with U.S. government and is not relying on the credibility in managing
aircraft industry.

The company got massive defense contracts paid via tax dollars. In fact, the company
enjoys tax break, infrastructure support and other incentives totaling billions of dollars.
For example, Boeing received more than $5 billion of subsidies from the U.S.
government in the development of the 787 Dreamliner. In addition, more than $23
billion is given to the company as indirect government subsidies by means of R&D
funding and other indirect support from the Pentagon and NASA. The European
countries also complain Boeing had received launch aid from Japan particularly for the
large part like wing. The boss of Airbus, Tom Enders, describes the 787 as the most
heavily subsidised civil aircraft in history. All of these lead to unfair advantages for
other players in aircraft manufacturing industry. Thus, they will struggle to survive and
compete with Boeing.

The new aircraft companies from Russia and China are heavily affected by these
situations. However, the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures
(Subsidies Agreement) strengthens discipline on trade distorting subsidies that other
governments use to give their firms an unfair competitive advantage. All countries that
become members of the WTO automatically will be subject to the Subsidies
Agreement. In the agreement, the subsidies to specific firms and industry from a
government or other public bodies are prohibited.

Question 3:

Assuming that Airbus cannot compete without subsidies and loans, is it likely that EU
will discontinue its financial support of Airbus? Is it in the EUs interest to continue
supporting Airbus? Justify your answer.

It is believed that EU will not discontinue its financial support of Airbus if they know
Airbus cannot compete without subsidies and loans from them. Besides, it is in the
EUs interest to continue supporting Airbus. There are many reasons why EU is likely
to continue its financial support. First of all, EU will indirectly incur a huge loss in term
of effort and cash if they are not doing their best to ensure that Airbus can survive in
the aircraft manufacturing industry. EU has supported Airbus since year 1970 and
billions of cash has been contributed to make Airbus at what it is now. So, if EU decides
to stop supporting Airbus then there is possibility that Airbus will not survive. The fact
that Airbus will not survive means is not only affecting the company but it portrays that
all EUs material contribution since the Airbus establishment is just a wastage.

Second, Airbus is currently a stock-held company jointly owned by the British,

Germans, French and Spanish. This means that indirectly Airbus is owned by part of
EUs country. EU as a whole really concern on supporting the efforts of every single
country in its union, so it is unlikely for them to let the Airbus without financial aid if
they know that it will affect the ability of that company to survive and compete. Besides,
EU governments believe that the existence of Airbus is benefiting them in many ways
so that create interest for them to support Airbus. First, Airbus R&D activities has allow
for the development of valuable new technologies for EU. Besides, around 53000 jobs
have been created by Airbus that involved the skilled and semiskilled represent almost
100 nationalities and mostly are European. Third, a massive amount of capital has
been injected into Europe resulted from Airbuss value-chain activities.

Last but not least, European countries benefited from enormous tax revenues
generated by Airbus. However, the decision made by EU to continue the financial
support will not be the same as before. This is because EU must also comply with the
rules and guidelines given by World Trade Organization (WTO). The previous case
brought up by Boeing has become the concern of WTO and as the result EU was
found as not compliance to WTO ruling regarding the interest rate being charged on
loan given to Airbus. WTO found that the interest rates charged on some of the loans
provided by the UK, France, Spain and Germany amounted to subsidy becuase they
were not competitive with market rates. Due to that, WTO gave the EU six months of
time to comply.

According to the EU trade spokesman, John Clancy, he stated in December 2011 that
the EU will take initiative to reform the financial aid package in order to ensure that this
new comprehensive package of actions will achieve full compliance with WTO
recommendations and ruling for the Airbus case. He also added that the new package
of financial aid will address all the illegal subsidies issue and all forms of adverse effect
on all models of aircraft covered by WTO rulings. All these reasons are the
justifications why it is believed that EU will not discontinue its financial support to
Airbus if they know it will give impact on the ability of Airbus to survive and compete.
This decision is found as not only will benefit the Airbus alone but lots of advantages
are shared by EU if Airbus continued to be profitable.

Question 4:

In the event the WTO rules against Airbus and tells it to stop accepting subsidies and
soft loans, how should Airbus management respond? What new approaches can
management pursue to maintain Airbuss lead in the global commercial aircraft

If the WTO rules are concluded against Airbus and tells it to stop accepting subsidies
and soft loans, they should find other strategies to sustain their current position.
Instead of depending on the soft loans and the subsidies, they may pursue new
strategies to maintain Airbuss lead in the global commercial aircraft such as:

If Airbus is prohibited to continue receiving subsidies and soft loans, then they have to
find alternative strategies before losing its leading position in the market. Besides, if
this rule is concluded then Boeing will be the first to get benefit from this action. Below
are some strategies that can be considered as alternative options for Airbus:

Cost leadership strategies

Differentiation strategies
Technology and Innovation strategies

Low price strategies

Cost leadership strategies

Cost leadership strategy aims at producing products keeping the customer in view
and manufacturing products at low cost per unit. So that, customer could afford that
particular product. Airbus could position itself as offering a low cost product as a
standard price. Costs are reduced at every element of the value chain. Airbus can
exploit the benefits of a bigger margin than the competitors. Airbus also can
produces services at low price coupled with a brand and marketing skills to use
premium pricing policy. It could offer a services that was different from that offered
by rivals. This allows companies to make prices less sensitive and focus on value
that generates a comparatively higher price and a better margin. Differentiation

This strategy is designed to provide customers a low cost product as standard price
without losing its aircraft standard. The production cost in some elements will be
deducted as well as marketing and services cost. In order to create better margin
and competitive price, Airbus should focus more on pricing issues and valuation by
reduce its sensitiveness.

The differentiation strategy suggests that products and services should be unique with
different and innovative designs and those products should be targeted towards the
customer who are intending to buy low priced products and services. Differentiation
strategy seeks to provide products or services completely different from those of its
competitors by adding features valued by consumers. The main objective of using this
is to either maintain the market share or increase market share relative to its
competitors. A clear example of this is aircraft manufacturer Airbuss wider fuselages,
cockpits designed for use in more than one aircraft and electrical rather than
mechanical flight controls. Technology and Innovation Strategies

What make a firms product different from their rivals is the unique in design,
features, and most important is meet the targets clients. That is the reason why
differentiation strategy aims to distribute items or administrations mostly not the same
as those of its rivals by including personal customize for their customers. This action
will support for the market share

Production innovation takes a main place in the innovation strategy important for the
survival of the existent in the cruel aerospace environment. many surveys show the
importance of Research and Development for innovation. Indeed the surveys proved
that investment in this function of the business would affect profit marginal in a positive
way. To safeguard this technology leadership position and to ensure its global
competitiveness, Airbus need to takes pride in its ability to continually innovate,
providing the worlds most efficient aircraft flying today, and preparing for the air
transportation industrys needs of tomorrow. Design plays a important role in Airbus
innovation. Indeed Design is involved in producing products that are unique in design
and architecture as the fuselages and the cockpits. Also the current position of Airbus
in the market is largely due to the introduction of advanced technologies that would
better meet the needs of competition and customer expectations. Low price strategy

The next generic strategy is the low price strategy. This strategy pursues a lower price
than pertains in the market whilst trying to maintain similar value of product or service
as those offered by competitor alike. There is the potential of price war among
competitors and in the long run consumers are likely to lose as the firms might not be
able to sustain the lower-price-good-value strategy. Notwithstanding the price war and
low margins, there are some suggested ways in which a low-priced strategy can bring
about a firms competitive advantage. The market segment must be low-price sensitive,
and also the SBU has a cost advantage over its competitors. However, in practice, the
lower price strategy usually brought about by lowering operational cost alone does not
give the firm the competitive advantage if the firm is not able to sustain it in the long-
term as there are now more firms entering the market because of low or no entry
barriers like small capital requirements and also how efficient the staff might be.

In conclusion, government intervention creates advantages and disadvantages to

some people. Government intervention does not always mean a bad thing. This is
because sometimes there are situations or conditions that need government
intervention in order to preserve other well-being and interest. This can be seen as
government intervention is often motivated by protectionism. Thus it shows that
governments intervene in the trade and investment with the objective of giving
protection. Even though this action gives some disadvantages to some other people,
it should be done if the advantages received by others are more than the
disadvantages. It is also cannot be done if it is bring a great harm to others while
protecting some. So every government should establish policies that are fair to
everyone and not bias to some people only. In the end, this fair policies will bring a
more prosper economy and improve countrys well-being.

NASA has provided Boeing with more than US$2.6 billion in subsidies through eight NASA-
funded federal research programmes through direct payments and free access to facilities,
equipment and employees.

2. The AB confirmed that the above programmes provided subsidies in the form of a direct
transfer of funds or the provision of goods and services by NASA to Boeing for which no fee
is payable and for which Boeing acquired the commercial IP rights.

3. The AB confirmed moreover that the US Department of Defence (DOD) under its Research
Development, Test and Evaluation programmes has transferred to Boeing, at no cost, dual use
technology worth up to US$1.2 billion for direct use in Boeing's production of Large Civil
Aircraft as well as free access to DOD's facilities.

4. The AB clarified that the relations between NASA and DOD on the one side, and Boeing
on the other side was akin to that of a joint venture, with the essential feature that the fruits of
the joint labour largely went to one partner, Boeing, which had provided none of the funding.
5. Boeing continued to be eligible for US$2.2 billion in Foreign Sales Corporation export
subsidies, despite previous WTO rulings that these are prohibited subsidies under WTO law. 3

6. The City of Wichita (Kansas) granted almost US$ 500 million in the form of tax abatements
on Industrial Revenue Bonds between 1989 and 2006.

7. Washington State tax breaks to be granted for the period 2006-24 amount to a subsidy value
of close to US$3.1 billion.

8. NASA and DOD research and development subsidies enabled Boeing to develop key
technologies, without which it would not have been possible to launch the 787 "Dreamliner"
in 2004.

9. The above research subsidies gave Boeing a competitive advantage causing Airbus to lose
sales campaigns, thus losing sales of the A330 and A350 models (i.e. in the 200-300 seat
market) and threatening to lose its share of certain export markets. Even where it was able to
make sales, it had to make them at reduced prices because of the presence of the subsidized
787 on the market.

10. The AB has also confirmed that the Washington Tax subsidies and Foreign Sales
Corporation subsidies, as well as the Wichita subsidies, enabled Boeing to beat Airbus to
winning orders in the "single aisle" 100-200 seat market (Boeing 737 vs A320) 11. Boeing's
illegal subsidies adversely impacts sales, market share and prices of Airbus' A320, A320 neo,
A330, A350XWB and the A380 families of Large Civil Aircraft (LCA).

Since October 2004, the EU and US have been contesting at the WTO their Governments'
respective support to their aerospace industries. Both WTO challenges relate to alleged
illegal WTO support to Airbus and Boeing respectively over a 20 to 30 year period.

Prior to these WTO challenges, US and EU government support to their aircraft producers had
been regulated by the so-called "Bilateral EU-US Agreement on Trade in Large Civil Aircraft".
This agreement, concluded in 1992, allowed each party to provide a certain level of support to
their respective aircraft industries. In the case of the EU, the agreement permitted granting of
so-called "Repayable Launch Investment" to Airbus, i.e. loans repaid with interest under terms
specified in the Agreement. In the case of the US, it allowed a certain level of government
financed R&D support to the US aerospace producer, Boeing. In order to monitor compliance
with the terms of the bilateral agreement, annual meetings and regular exchanges of
information took place.

On 6 October 2004, the United States quite unexpectedly and unilaterally announced its
withdrawal from the 1992 Agreement and immediately filed a challenge at the WTO of all EU
support ever granted to Airbus, even though the US had previously agreed to this support. In
turn, the EU was left with little option than to respond itself immediately with a parallel WTO
challenge of US government support to US aerospace industry (i.e. Boeing) by Federal, State
and local authorities, including benefits to Boeing under the so-called US Foreign Sales
Corporation Scheme, which the US government had continued to provide to Boeing, despite
these subsidies having repeatedly been found to violate WTO rules.