LONDON – Airbus has agreed with the governments of France and Spain to make amendments to the A350 Repayable Launch Investment (RLI) contracts.

After 16 years of litigation at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), this is the final step to stop the long-standing dispute and removes any justification for U.S. tariffs.

Airbus A321LR. Photo: Airbus

Airbus takes the final step


The tariffs imposed by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) are currently harming all targeted industry sectors. Sectors include U.S. airlines and the tariffs add to a very difficult environment as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis.

This is why Airbus has decided to make a final step to remove the last contentious point. It amends the French and Spanish contracts to what the WTO considers the appropriate interest rate and risk assessment benchmarks.

The WTO has already ruled that RLI is a valid instrument for governments to partner with industry by sharing investment risks. With this final move, Airbus considers itself in complete compliance with all WTO rulings. 

Statement from Airbus


Guillaume Faury (52), Airbus CEO, said, “We have fully complied with all the WTO requirements. These additional amendments to the Airbus A350 RLIs demonstrate that Airbus has left no stone unturned to find a way towards a solution.”

“This is a clear signal of support to those who are suffering from the severe impact of the tariffs imposed by the USTR, especially at a time when industries are hard hit by the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.”

Picture from Airbus.

About Airbus


Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2019, it generated revenues of €70 bn and employed a workforce of around 135,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners.

Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport, and mission aircraft.

In addition, the company is also one of the world’s leading space companies. Regarding helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

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