Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

WTO rules European Union failed to halt all Airbus subsidies

DEVELOPING NEWS: WTO rules EU failed to stop subsidies on some Airbus aircraft WTO Rules $22Bln EU Subsidies to Airbus Illegal, Authorizes US Retaliation
Russell Knight | 16 May, 2018, 06:42

The U.S. says it would slap tariffs on European goods unless the EU stopped "harming U.S. interests", but the European Commission says the U.S. had lost most of its claims and that much of the aid faulted by the WTO had expired in 2011.

The European Union is continuing to provide illegal subsidies to plane maker Airbus, the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) appellate body has ruled.

The two companies have been locked in a cycle of appeals and rulings for 14 years.

The EU highlighted earlier wins in a parallel case against USA subsidies for Boeing, and Airbus said this could in turn spark EU sanctions against the United States once the timetable for that case reaches the same point later this year.

The WTO ruled that Airbus had failed to mitigate the damage to Boeing from illegal subsidies used to develop the Airbus A380 and A350 jets, according to media reports.

"Today's final ruling sends a clear message: Disregard for the rules and illegal subsidies is not tolerated", said Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

This landmark ruling by the WTO Appellate Body is the final decision in this case, which was initiated in 2006.

Malmstrom added: "Also, we look forward to the upcoming ruling by the appellate body on USA compliance with the WTO findings of the massive and persistent government support to Boeing".

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It said in a statement that, "This is expected to be the largest-ever WTO authorization of retaliatory tariffs".

The appellate body maintained a ruling by the WTO's compliance panel that European Union "launch aid" provided to Airbus resulted in lost sales for Boeing in the twin-aisle and very-large aircraft markets.

Shares of Airbus reversed earlier gains to trade down as much as 1.8 percent immediately after the ruling was published.

The EU has brought two such cases against the U.S. One case ended in favor of the U.S., and in the other, like in the Airbus case, the majority of the allegations the EU made against the U.S. and Boeing were dismissed.

Airbus chief executive Tom Enders called the ruling a "significant legal success for the European aviation industry". We likewise expect Boeing to take note when it comes to its compliance obligations.

A big trade ruling in the long battle between Airbus and Boeing left both sides cheering.

Mendes explained that the Trump administration's support for the ruling is at odds with its own attempts to unravel the WTO - and could put it in a hard place if the WTO rules against Boeing in the next case.

"Boeing is now at more than 90% failed claims".

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