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WTO body rules that EU unlawfully supported Airbus

The World Trade Organization’s top dispute resolution body has ruled that the EU failed to comply with international trade laws in subsidising the European aerospace company Airbus.

On 15 May, the WTO’s Appellate Body upheld 14 claims made by the United States’ government against the EU, France, Germany, Spain and the UK, ruling that their support for Airbus’s development of its A380 and A350 XWB planes was damaging to the US company Boeing.

Boeing said in a statement that the decision cleared the way for the US to take action against the EU in the form of tariffs against European imports. “The authorised tariffs are likely to total billions in duties per year, unless and until Airbus addresses the illegal subsidies it received from European governments for its most recently launched airplanes,” Boeing said.

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