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The world's two largest jetmakers are bracing for the next round in a transatlantic spat over billions of dollars of aircraft subsidies, amid accusations of widening U.S. support for Boeing and persistent European aid to Airbus.
After a year-long lull, the world's biggest trade dispute will enter a crucial phase in coming months, potentially casting a shadow over faltering efforts by the European Union and United States to negotiate a wider free-trade deal.
At stake are mutual claims of unfair subsidies to the two planemakers that raise the prospect of $22 billion (17.05 billion pounds) a year in threatened trade sanctions, though many say a resolution remains years away and could ultimately involve a negotiated settlement.
The dispute, said to be the biggest in terms of value and time, dates back to 2004 when the U.S. urged the World Trade Organization (WTO) to act against European government loans to help Airbus develop jets such as the A380, followed by a counter-claim from the EU over federal and local aid for Boeing.