In a meeting of the International Committee on GNSS earlier this month, United States GPS officials indicated they were concerned that the European Union (EU) would give preferential treatment through regulatory requirements to their Galileo system, which is expected to be completed in the next few years.
Space News reported on Friday that European Commission officials have been debating how to stimulate the use of Galileo in recent months, and it was proposed to use regulations to require that navigational equipment using Galileo be installed on aircraft, automobiles or other platforms. As US officials have stated, however, such a regulation would break the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade and the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement, which are designed to create a non-discriminatory national market.
The United States warned the EU that creating such a regulation would not only break the WTO agreement (which has been signed by the United States, EU and Japan) but that all regulatory measures should be technology-neutral to give GPS and Galileo even ground, provided that both systems provide the performance requirements.
The European Commission is the executive branch of the European Union and the owner of the Galileo system, which has a more commercial approach than the U.S. GPS system. The Galileo system and the GPS system both signed agreements in 2004 to ensure interoperability.