Fighting government subsidies was at the top of Former President George W. Bush’s trade agenda, and the Airbus filing in 2004 was the biggest case he brought. Efforts to pursue similar complaints now would be undercut by the bailouts that Bush and President Barack Obama doled out to private companies, said James Bacchus, a lawyer in Washington who heads the trade practice at Greenberg Traurig LLP.
“We live in a glass house of global subsidies, and new additions to this edifice are being added every day,” Bacchus said in an interview. “Don’t hold your breath” for the U.S. to continue Bush’s push against aid, he said.
Instead of leading more fights against subsidies by the European Union, China and Australia, the U.S. may have to fend off trade cases brought by developing nations such as Argentina, India and Brazil, which haven’t resorted to such large-scale bailouts, according to Gary Hufbauer, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
‘Everyone Is Guilty’
“The subsidies being done now make the amounts in the Boeing-Airbus dispute pale in comparison,” Hufbauer told a forum on Capitol Hill on July 27. The U.S. has given hundreds of billions in aid to companies from General Motors Co. to American International Group Inc.