Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

'EU paid Airbus $18bn in illegal subsidies'

Airbus A380 DEVELOPING NEWS: WTO rules EU failed to stop subsidies on some Airbus aircraft
Elsie Buchanan | 16 May, 2018, 12:04

The World Trade Organization has upheld a U.S. claim that the European Union has continued to provide illegal subsidies to Airbus, a France-based aircraft manufacturer.

A World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on Tuesday is opening the door for the United States to impose tariffs on European products, in what is likely the end of the 14-year-old trade battle.

At the same time, however, the appellate division of WTO's Dispute Settlement Body dismissed a USA claim that loans for Airbus's most popular models, the A320 and A330, were costing Boeing significant sales.

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

The decision could further ramp up tensions between the USA 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.

The global trade body has found the European Union is still ignoring requests to stop its illegal subsidies for Airbus, handing a victory to its U.S. rival Boeing and paving the way for potentially billions in punitive tariffs.

The EU's Executive Commission said most of the aid faulted in earlier rounds of the long-running case had expired in 2011 and that it would swiftly comply on the remaining measures.

PM Modi congratulates Malaysian counterpart over phone on his victory
But tensions within the ruling alliance over cabinet picks that emerged at the weekend would weigh on sentiment, analysts said. Late on Saturday, Mahathir met Anwar in his hospital room, where he is recovering from a shoulder operation.


The ruling, which rejected some U.S. claims, was a relative USA victory on the question of European Union aid for two aircraft: Airbus' 350XWB - a rival of Boeing's 787 - and the double-decker A380, which has eclipsed the Boeing 747 as the world's largest commercial passenger plane.

Boeing claims that the EU provided the European aerospace giant more than $22 billion in illegal subsidies.

"The commercial success of products and services should be driven by their merits and not by market-distorting actions".

According to the European Commission (EC), the WTO has determined "the majority of EU support to Airbus challenged by the U.S. had expired in 2011" and the EU is not required to take any further action regarding state support for the A300, A310, A320 and A330/A340 aircraft models.

Since then, the WTO has handed down rulings in favor of both sides. That figure includes the many subsidies that the WTO said were lawful. This is proof of Boeing's cynical PR motives in bringing this case about in the first place.

The exact amount of allowed United States retaliation will be determined by a separate WTO process that could take months or even up to a year.

Airbus CEO Tom Enders hit back saying that the ruling yesterday was "only half the story". "It shatters Boeing's claim it perpetuated for years that their WTO case undermines European industrial-government partnership".

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