Airbus and Boeing each claim WTO decision as a win

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

Posted: May 16, 2018 1:42 AM
Updated: May 16, 2018 1:42 AM

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

The World Trade Organization said Tuesday that the European Union helped Airbus with unfair subsidies that hurt sales of Boeing's wide-body jets.

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.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the decision "confirms once and for all that the EU has long ignored WTO rules, and even worse, EU aircraft subsidies have cost American aerospace companies tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue."

He said that the United States would impose tariffs if the EU doesn't follow international trade laws. That would be an escalation at a time when US relations with trading partners are already tense. But the European Union said it planned to take "swift action" to align with the WTO's recommendations.

The rivals are in fierce competition for plane orders. Airbus booked more orders last year, but Boeing delivered more planes.

The fight dates to 2004, when EU authorities said Boeing received $19 billion in unfair subsidies from federal and state governments between 1989 and 2006. The US government filed a similar claim that year over European subsidies to Airbus.

Since then, the WTO has handed down rulings in favor of both sides. It still has to decide whether Boeing received unfair subsidies from Washington state. Airbus contends that Boeing received more than $20 billion in unfair funds from the United States.

Related: Boeing tax package ruled illegal by WTO

Boeing argues that the European Union has granted Airbus more than $22 billion in illegal subsidies. That figure includes the many subsidies that the WTO said were lawful.

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

Both Airbus and the European Union cast the decision as a blow to Boeing.

"The WTO has now dismissed in their entirety 94% of Boeing's original claims," Airbus said in a statement. The company added that it plans to eliminate the subsidies that the WTO ruled were unfair.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstr-m said the WTO "has definitively rejected the US challenge on the bulk of EU support to Airbus."

Related: Airbus wins sales race with Boeing for 5th straight year

Errol Mendes, a professor of international business law at the University of Ottawa, called the decision a "historic ruling at a historic time."

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 difficult place if the WTO rules against Boeing in the next case.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 314509

Reported Deaths: 7247
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21626259
Hinds20359415
Harrison17934309
Rankin13634278
Jackson13447246
Madison10099217
Lee9980174
Jones8381163
Forrest7683152
Lauderdale7191241
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Lamar623086
Lafayette6200118
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Warren4393121
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Monroe4113133
Union411076
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Hancock379386
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Tate334084
Pike3325105
Scott315973
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Coahoma295479
Simpson295288
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Holmes189173
Clay185454
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178841
Clarke178080
Calhoun170832
Yalobusha164338
Smith162434
Walthall133945
Greene130633
Lawrence128624
Montgomery126942
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83823
Quitman80916
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67331
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 532895

Reported Deaths: 11001
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson771431528
Mobile41089808
Madison34837505
Tuscaloosa25810454
Montgomery24355588
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Lee15892171
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Walker7246277
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Blount6694137
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Franklin426282
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Tallapoosa4039152
Escambia393977
Chambers3578123
Dallas3557152
Clarke351161
Marion3130101
Pike311377
Lawrence300798
Winston275673
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Geneva251477
Marengo249664
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Butler216469
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Monroe178040
Washington167639
Macon159950
Clay156857
Crenshaw152757
Cleburne149141
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Lowndes139053
Wilcox127130
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