Boeing, Airbus both find positives in WTO subsidy ruling


Mr. Enders of Airbus ratcheted up his rhetoric, accusing Boeing of relying on a "Washington state corporate welfare scheme" and insisting that the latest ruling was "only half the story - the other half coming out later this year will rule strongly on Boeing's subsidies and we'll see then where the balance lies".

The WTO dismissed the appeal from Airbus in its marathon spat with USA rival Boeing, both of which have accused each other of receiving illegal subsidies.

"Today's final ruling sends a clear message: disregard for the rules and illegal subsidies is not tolerated. The commercial success of products and services should be driven by their merits and not by market-distorting actions", said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO.

The report comes at a time of mounting trade tensions over USA aluminum and steel tariffs and the impact on European firms of Washington's decision to exit the Iran nuclear pact.

Boeing predicted such tariffs could reach billions of dollars a year starting as early as 2019.

The decision Tuesday affirmed a ruling that European Union member states have failed to adequately remedy market-distorting aid for the launch of Airbus's A380 superjumbo, infrastructure support and equity investments that unfairly benefited the planemaker. The bloc compounded the issue with below-market loans for the plane-maker's marquee A350 jetliner.

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The EU's Executive Commission said most of the aid faulted in earlier rounds of the long-running case had expired in 2011 and that it would swiftly comply on the remaining measures.

The Geneva watchdog, however, had dismissed USA claims that the loans for the most popular models of Airbus, the A320 and A330, were costing aignisignif sales to Boeing. The stock fell 0.9 percent to €96.25 at the close in Paris.

For its part, Airbus emphasized that the "WTO has now dismissed in their entirety 94% of Boeing's original claims" and focused on the "much more interesting part - on Boeing's more egregious and competition-damaging subsidies", which the WTO has not yet finished ruling on. Boeing fell less than 1 percent to $342.10 at 11:43 NY.

"The Airbus case against Boeing is yet to come".

The U.S. and the European Union have spent more than a decade wrangling over various government efforts to help Chicago-based Boeing and Toulouse, France-based Airbus defray billions of dollars in costs to design and produce commercial aircraft.