EU appeals WTO ruling on subsidies to Airbus

The European Union has appealed the judgment by the World Trade Organization in the dispute with the United States on public aid to Airbus.

A panel of experts from the WTO concluded in a report published on December 2, 2019, that the European Union and some of its member states have not “taken appropriate steps to remove the adverse effects”, and align with international regulations regarding public aid. 

The panel had been established on August 27, 2018, after a demand from the European Union.

Now the WTO announced that the European Commission would appeal the ruling of the panel. This new appeal is based on “serious legal errors”, according to AFP.

Since 2004, the United States and the European Union have been accusing each other of providing illegal public aid to their respective aircraft manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus. The WTO has ruled that both manufacturers have been receiving unfair subsidies. The EU was found to have unfairly supported the development of two Airbus programs, the late A380, and the A350. As for Boeing, the manufacturer received unjustified tax breaks from the U.S. authorities. Both parties estimate that subsidies harmed their business by more than $10 billion per year.

In October 2019, the WTO authorized Washington to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion of imports from the EU, including a 10% tariff on Airbus planes, but also 25% on several other Europeans products that range from Scottish whisky to copper and iron.


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