WTO Rules in Favor of US in Airbus Case

The United States scored a win on Tuesday when the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the European Union (EU) was loose in its compliance to cease subsidies for French aircraft manufacturer Airbus. The US Trade Representative (USTR) was arguing on behalf of US-based Boeing, alleging that many European countries had given government aid totaling $22 billion to Airbus in an effort to help the company’s launch of the A380 and A350 airplanes. The USTR said that the ruling will now open the way for countries to impose tariffs on various EU goods and services.


The long-standing dispute began in 2004 and was thought to be resolved in 2011 when the WTO sided with the US. However, the US complained further alleging that the EU and other countries were still not in compliance with the ruling. This most recent decision again places the blame on the EU and Airbus, saying that the aircraft manufacturer had not fixed the damage done to rival Boeing.


Tuesday’s decision now gives the US authorization to retaliate with sanctions against the offending countries should they choose to do so. The amount of these sanctions will be determined by another forthcoming WTO ruling and could begin as early as 2019. It remains to be seen how this decision will affect relations between the US and other European countries. Tensions between the US and various global economies are already high in light of President Donald Trump’s intention to impose a myriad of tariffs on many countries.