PARIS – The United States should reduce the tariffs of $7.5 billion that the World Trade Organization (WTO) had allowed it to impose on the European Union for providing subsidies to Airbus for the A380 by 2 billion euros since the practice has not had negative effects on Boeing, a WTO panel said Monday.
In a statement, Airbus touted this aspect of the WTO panel’s finding, which essentially once again went against the European aviation company’s arguments in one of its many disputes with rival Boeing before the world trade body.
Airbus said that in light of the WTO panel’s conclusions, the United States should “immediately” reduce the tariffs it imposed on the EU to compensate for the harm suffered by Boeing.
The reason is that the assistance that Airbus received in the early 2000s for the A380 program have stopped harming the US aerospace company due to the fact that the giant European plane is no longer being sold and production is set to come to an end because the aircraft has not sold as expected when it was conceived.
Boeing, for its part, celebrated the WTO panel’s ruling.
“Today’s ruling is a complete loss for Airbus and its government sponsors,” Boeing said in a statement. “It confirms what has long been clear: the EU has failed to comply with WTO rulings despite having years to do so, and billions of euros of illegal government subsidies to Airbus continue to harm the US aerospace industry. We hope that Airbus and the EU will now finally turn their energies to resolving this case.”
Beyond the matter of the A380, the WTO found that the EU and the four countries that make up the Airbus consortium – France, Germany, Spain and the UK – have still not met the requirements imposed so that their subsidies to the aviation company would not have negative effects on Boeing.
Airbus, however, said measures had been taken to deal with these effects and that it remained committed to working with the EU and its member nations to implement the WTO’s recommendations.
The European aviation company said its position was to end all the pending trade disputes over its aircraft through the talks that the European Commission has initiated with US authorities.
Airbus’s stated position “has always been: no one wins in a trade conflict and all benefit from open markets and a level playing field.”