• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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EU rapped by WTO for $10bn a year Airbus subsidies


The EU has failed to comply with rulings that it should cut subsidies to aircraft maker Airbus, the World Trade Organization has ruled.

Rival Boeing says it could pave the way for the US to seek up to $10bn (£8bn) in annual retaliatory tariffs.

It follows years of accusations between the two aerospace giants that each received state funding.

The WTO is yet to rule on a similar EU complaint that Boeing benefits from billions of dollars in tax breaks.

Washington responded to the ruling by calling for an immediate halt for EU subsidies to support US jobs.

Meanwhile Airbus said it would appeal the judgment and the EU said it found some of the findings “unsatisfactory”.

Sweeping victory
Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, said: “Today’s ruling finally holds the EU and Airbus to account for their flouting of global trade rules.”

“This long-awaited decision is a victory for fair trade worldwide and for US aerospace workers, in particular.”

US Trade Representative Michael Froman said the panel’s finding was “a sweeping victory for the United States and its aerospace workers”.

He called on the EU, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Spain “to respect WTO rules”.

“We call on them to end subsidised financing of Airbus immediately,” he said.

In response, the EU said: “There are certain findings of the panel that we consider to be unsatisfactory. We are closely analysing the report.”

It said the findings should be read in the context of two other reports expected to address US subsidies in coming months.

Airbus said it mostly conformed with its global trade commitments and would appeal.

“We only needed to make limited changes in European policies and practices to comply,” it said in a statement.

“We will address the few still remaining points indicated by the report in our appeal,” Airbus said.

Both the EU and the United States have the right to appeal against the ruling.