World trade body rules against Airbus subsidies from Europe
The World Trade Organization ruled that Airbus SAS received billions of dollars in illegal European government subsidies for its aircraft, Boeing Co. officials said Wednesday as the agency, which governs international trade, released its findings and concluded that the practice must end.
The case dates to 2004, when the U.S. filed a complaint with the WTO alleging that Airbus had received $200 billion worth of aid from the governments of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain. The U.S. alleged that the aid allowed Airbus to win more than half the commercial airplane market from Boeing, which for years had been the world’s leading manufacturer of passenger jets.
The WTO released its 1,000-page report to U.S. trade officials and their European counterparts three month ago, but it had remained confidential until now so it could be officially translated. In the coming weeks, the WTO is expected to release its interim report in a case brought by the Europeans alleging that Boeing also had received illegal subsidies.