Excess Baggage: Weighing the Contribution of Political and Corporate Interests in the W.T.O. Cases over Commercial Aircraft Subsidies

by Spadafore, Annemarie Michaela

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation examines the second time that the top two commercial aviation manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus, went head to head in their long-standing competition over subsidies. In this recent dispute, rather than attempting negotiations (as they did in the early 1990s), both sides instead filed cases against each other at the World Trade Organization (W.T.O.) This manuscript attempts to explain the aggressive re-eruption of this dispute and the absence of a negotiated solution such as the 1992 Agreement. In doing so, it uncovers the most relevant factors which affected the decision on both sides either to negotiate or to proceed with their cases. These include considerations that have been traditionally associated with this industry in the literature, such as national security, along with other factors drawn from recent scholarship that concludes that the close relationship between political and corporate interests is an important hallmark of the commercial aircraft sector. The study concludes that there were multiple factors that contributed to the aggressive re-eruption of this dispute and that the overarching explanation is financial - specifically, the economic interests of the firms. It further concludes that politics only played a supporting role. This dissertation is divided into five substantive chapters. After an introduction, the second chapter provides an overview of the history of both Boeing and Airbus and the competition between the two firms up to the current dispute. The third chapter reviews the relevant literature to this dispute, providing a background for the variables chosen for examination during the interviews. A fourth chapter describes the data-gathering method and provides a detailed description of the research findings. The fifth and final chapter serves as a discussion of the research findings and also considers the ramifications that these results may have on understanding trade policy in this sector while giving suggestions for future research.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Miami University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:boeing airbus w t o world trade organization cases disputes commercial aircraft industry 1992 agreement negotiations


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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