Trade Rulings Could Impact Air Force Tanker Competition

The World Trade Organization today released a final ruling on commercial transport subsidies received by Boeing. The ruling will remain confidential until translated into variety of languages, so only the parties to the case brought by European governments have seen it. However, the ruling probably confirms a preliminary finding last year that Boeing received only a few billion dollars in improper subsidies over a period of several decades — a small fraction of the amount European countries had alleged. That finding is in marked contrast to another WTO ruling last year finding that Airbus has received at least $20 billion in illegal or actionable subsidies. Another contrast is that Boeing has substantially ceased receiving prohibited subsidies, while Airbus continues to actively pursue them. I have posted an analysis at Forbes.com today exploring the potential impact of WTO rulings on the Air Force’s current tanker competition. It is not a pretty picture. You can find the Forbes analysis¬†here.