WTO rules some US state support for Boeing illegal

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GENEVA — The World Trade Organization on Thursday partly upheld an EU complaint against US state support for Boeing, saying that billions of state aid for the aircraft maker amounted to illegal subsidies.

Both the European Union and the United States claimed victory, with Brussels slamming Washington’s subsidies, while the US hailed the WTO for finding that state aid for Boeing was far less than that paid to European rival Airbus.

In a 900-page report, the WTO panel found that “the effects of the NASA and DOD (Department of Defense) aeronautics R&D (research and development) subsidies are significant price suppression, significant lost sales and threat of displacement and impedance of exports from third country markets” in the product category of 200-300 seat wide-body aircraft.

In all, the WTO found that state aid provided to Boeing reached at least $5.3 billion.

The amount of illegal subsidies paid through NASA were worth $2.6 billion over 1989-2006, said the arbitrators, who added that those paid through the Department of Defense research and development programme were “unclear.”

Full Story: AFP: WTO rules some US state support for Boeing illegal