The Boeing-Airbus Dispute– European Business in the Firing Line

The Boeing-Airbus dispute is one of the longest sagas in international trade. Dating back to 2004, it is only now reaching its conclusion after years of claims and counterclaims. In the first of the cases (US v EU), the US Government has been recently authorized by the WTO to slap $7.5bn worth of tariffs on many EU products. The WTO Appellate Body ruled in 2011 and 2012 that both airplane manufacturers received billions of dollars in illegal subsidies ranging from R&D funding to tax breaks and, in the case of Boeing, military contracts. After the WTO found that both the EU and the US have not stopped all the illegal practices, the door was opened for retaliatory tariffs. The US case has a few months head-start over the European action (EU v the US) meaning that Brussels will have to wait until 2020 to be able to apply similar sanctions against the US. It will likely be one of the first main challenges facing the incoming EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan combined with the even more high-level dispute on car tariffs President Trump threatens to impose against the EU.

Read more by our colleagues from the Trade team here in Brussels.

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