Air­bus back­ing down in long­time fair trade dis­pute with U.S.

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION/WORLD / BUSINESS -

Euro­pean plane maker Air­bus says it is tak­ing the last step to end 16 years of lit­i­ga­tion with the United States at the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion over sub­si­dies.

The man­u­fac­turer said it will end a sys­tem of financial sup­port from France and Spain that the WTO had deemed il­le­gal and un­fair to ri­val Boe­ing. The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion used the case as jus­ti­fi­ca­tion to slap tar­iffs on $7.5 bil­lion worth of Euro­pean ex­ports.

The U.S. tar­iffs cov­ered not only Air­bus planes but also a range of typ­i­cal Euro­pean ex­ports, from gouda cheese to single-malt whiskey.

The Air­bus case cen­ters on so-called launch aid from Euro­pean coun­tries that WTO judges ruled had im­peded sales for air­craft from Boe­ing in the twin-aisle and very large air­craft mar­kets.

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