It's about more than airplanes. The $160 billion aviation industry is pivotal to national economies and thousands of jobs, not to mention civic pride.
Boeing once dominated, but Airbus, a subsidiary of Franco-German defense giant EADS, edged out a lead in 2003. Political tensions have run hot since. Trade officials on both continents are fond of scathing op-eds and public statements alleging malfeasance.
Both sides have a point. A 2011 leak revealed a personal letter from President George W. Bush to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah urging the purchase of Boeing jets. And Airbus has received billions in subsidies.
As Boeing deals with 787 Dreamliner delays, Airbus has taken to depicting its planes with a Pinocchio nose. Ouch.
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