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U.S. says unaware of any new push in EU plane row

By Staff
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GENEVA, May 3 (Reuters) The top trade negotiator of the United States said he was unaware of any new push for a breakthrough in a dispute between the United States and the European Union over aircraft subsidies.

''I am not aware of one, except what you just told me,'' U.S.

Trade Representative Rob Portman said when asked by a reporter about speculation that trans-Atlantic talks on the dispute were speeding up.

Earlier, Boeing Chairman and Chief Executive Jim McNerney said in Paris the United States and Europe had accelerated efforts to resolve the dispute.

The argument centres on billions of dollars in government loans for European planemaker Airbus, which in turn accuses Boeing of getting aid.

Portman told a news conference the United States still hoped for a negotiated settlement to the row, which could be the biggest ever trade dispute before the World Trade Organisation.

REUTERS SBJ ND2002

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