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Tag: World Trade Organization


The WTO makes the case against an Airbus tanker

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Is that all you got, WTO?

Americans rooting for the Boeing Co.’s success have been waiting apprehensively for a World Trade Organization’s ruling on whether the U.S. government has been unfairly subsidizing the aerospace company’s commercial jets.

The answer, announced last week, was yes. According to the arbiters of international free trade, Boeing’s jets have benefited from about $5 billion in illegal assistance.

Two billion dollars of that is a 10-year-old, recycled complaint about a federal tax advantage that has long since been rescinded. The remainder, roughly $3 billion, includes

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WTO ruling against Airbus is a win for fairness

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

The United States took a risk five years ago when it decided to press a trade dispute alleging European Union countries were providing illegal subsidies to Boeing’s rival.

The gamble paid off – at least for now.

The World Trade Organization ruled this week that Airbus benefited from improper government loans made at below-market interest rates.
Without the government support, the panel concluded, the European company would have had to take on massive debt and would have been a “much weaker” company ill positioned to build the A380 superjumbo jet.

The aerospace giant also might not have been able to vault past Boeing in 2003. The illegal subsidies allowed Airbus to offer more models than it might otherwise have, costing Boeing market share in some countries. The WTO found that Boeing suffered substantial lost sales from 2001 to 2006.

“The governments of France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom have caused serious prejudice to the United States’ interests,” the ruling said.

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WTO ruling a moral victory for Boeing

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

The World Trade Organization is reportedly close to announcing what Boeing supporters have long known: Airbus doesn’t play by the rules.

The WTO’s preliminary ruling, according to Washington state lawmakers briefed about it, confirms that launch aid received from four European nations amounted to illegal subsidies.

The trade arbiter reportedly found that European aid had benefited every model Airbus had produced by 2004 – and that the subsidies harmed its U.S. arch-rival, Boeing.

Vindication feels good, but a WTO ruling could be a victory in name only. Theoretically, the United States could raise tariffs or impose other barriers to EU imports years from now when the WTO case is finally settled, but that’s probably unlikely.

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