European Union still providing illegal subsidies to Airbus

DEVELOPING NEWS: WTO rules EU failed to stop subsidies on some Airbus aircraft

The World Trade Organization's highest court on Tuesday rejected the bulk of a dispute filed by the United States against the European Union over EU states' financial support of France-based aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

The United States brought the case to the WTO in 2004.

"Today's report is really only half the story", Airbus CEO Tom Enders says, as the WTO is expected to issue a ruling in the coming months on an European Union case against the US over subsidies provided to Boeing, which could rebalance today's outcome.

"Despite Boeing's rhetoric, it is clear that their position today is straightforward healthy: they have half the market and a full order book, they have clearly not been damaged by Airbus repayable loans", Airbus CEO Tom Enders said in a statement.

The decision could further ramp up tensions between the US and Europe, which have been stoked by President TrumpDonald John TrumpAvenatti defends right to release Cohen's financial info Pruitt's 24/7 security requested over fears of Trump policy backlash Senate GOP anger over McCain insult grows MORE's criticism of EU trade policies, his refusal to provide a permanent exemption for tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports and last week's decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal.

It said that tariffs could be in place as early as 2019 and were expected to be the largest-ever WTO authorisation of retaliatory tariffs. "The commercial success of products and services should be driven by their merits and not by market-distorting actions".

Boeing said it anticipated that United States tariffs up to the amount of harm from the subsidies could be scheduled as early as 2019.


"Significantly, it dismissed the vast majority of the US claims that this support had damaged Boeing's aircraft sales".

Airbus General Counsel John Harrison said: "Airbus recognizes the importance of the WTO and the Appellate Body's findings and will do what is necessary to correct any errors and this report confirms the efforts we are making".

USA top aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co.

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. We likewise expect Boeing to take note when it comes to its compliance obligations.

But the organization also overturned a previous ruling that found the subsidies were hurting sales of the single-aisle 737, Boeing's most popular plane.

"Companies should not have to compete with governments - that is what this case is about", said Robert Novick, co-managing partner at Boeing's trade lawyers WilmerHale.

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