Major win for the EU in the WTO dispute on Boeing

The United States’ massive support for production of the Boeing 777X is in breach of international trade rules, according to a WTO panel report. The WTO confirmed that the US 2013 decision to extend tax breaks for Boeing until the year 2040 goes against previous WTO rulings. By making these tax breaks depend on the use of domestically produced wings, the US also discriminated against foreign suppliers. Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: “Today’s WTO ruling is an important victory for the EU and its aircraft industry. The panel has found that the additional massive subsidies of USD 5.7 billion provided by Washington State to Boeing are strictly illegal. We expect the US to respect the rules, uphold fair competition, and withdraw these subsidies without any delay”. This is the second ruling concerning the US subsidies to Boeing. The American measures considered under this case alone amount to USD 5.7 billion, and have now been recognised by the WTO panel as subsidies that are illegal.This is the first time in the history of Airbus/Boeing litigation that a WTO panel finds that one of the disputing parties has granted such outright prohibited subsidies that discriminate against foreign producers.In the spring of 2017, the WTO is expected to issue a report on another long-standing case, which will confirm the extent of the US WTO-incompatible subsidies to Boeing.