U.S. says complied with WTO ruling on Boeing subsidies

Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:57am EDT
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GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States said on Monday it had complied with a ruling ordering it to withdraw unfair subsidies to Boeing as tit-for-tat exchanges flared up in the world's largest trade dispute.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) found in March that the U.S. planemaker had received billions of dollars in unfair aid, following an earlier ruling against European support to Airbus.

The United States and the European Union (EU) cannot agree on the severity of the ruling against subsidies to Airbus, which the United States says far outstrip any U.S. government support for Boeing (BA.N: Quote).

The U.S. Trade Representative's office said it had met a September 23 deadline to comply with the WTO's findings in a case brought by the European Union in response to the first claim launched by the United States more than seven years ago.

"USTR has been working extensively over the last six months with all of the government entities affected by the March 23, 2012 ruling in this case - including NASA, the Department of Defense, the State of Washington, and the City of Wichita - to ensure full compliance with the United States' WTO obligations," the government agency said in a statement.

The EU's executive Commission, in response, said it needed to check that the U.S. had taken the necessary action to end the subsidies.

"In March this year, the WTO ruled that billions of dollars of subsidies to Boeing were illegal, and the U.S. were given until today to bring those to an end. We will now immediately review their compliance package to check whether the U.S. have taken the necessary steps to end these subsidies and their adverse effects," EU Trade spokesperson John Clancy said in a statement.

The United States has targeted government loans to Airbus, which it says helped the European planemaker compete unfairly to replace Boeing as the world's largest commercial jetmaker.

The European Union says Boeing (BA.N: Quote) is unfairly assisted by government research deals and other federal and local measures.   Continued...

Boeing flags flutter as an Airbus A380, the world's largest jetliner, takes part in a flying display during the 49th Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget airport near Paris June 25, 2011. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes