Airbus says WTO ruling confirms findings against Boeing
(PARIS) - European aircraft manufacturer Airbus said Monday that a WTO appeal ruling confirmed and expanded earlier findings on US subsidies for rival Boeing.
"Today's Report from the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body confirms and even extends previous WTO findings," Airbus said in a statement ahead of the WTO publishing the text of the ruling.
The WTO handed down its ruling to the parties in the dispute on February 29, although the details were kept confidential.
"The Report confirms the existence of illegal U.S. subsidies to Boeing - previously identified by the WTO as 'at least $5.3 billion' and extended by billions of US dollars as a result of today's decision -- resulting in an estimated loss of approximately $45 billion in sales for Airbus," it added.
The European Union had launched the complaint against the United States, claiming Washington gave Boeing billions of dollars worth of illegal subsidies. The EU complaint was in response to a US complaint against EU support for Airbus.
In a ruling on March 31, 2011, the WTO partly upheld the EU complaint. Both Brussels and Washington appealed the finding.
"The Appellate Body has now spoken in both the Airbus and Boeing cases," said Rainer Ohler, Airbus' Head of Public Affairs and Communications.
"Comparing the core claims made by both sides, the net outcome is clear: Boeing's cash grants are fundamentally illegal, while the system of loans to Airbus by European governments is legal and may continue."
Airbus added with the final ruling "it has become clear today that Boeing will have to make major changes to comply with this final WTO ruling."
Airbus said the WTO final ruling found that Boeing had already received "at least $5.3 billion" (4 billion euros) in illegal subsidies and was scheduled to receive another $2 billion.
It said the ruling found the effect of the subsidies is significantly larger than their face value in light of their "particularly pervasive" nature.
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