Ten years after the U.S. Trade Representative first filed a case with the World Trade Organization concerning European aircraft subsidies, Washington was definitively upheld by the global body. It found that four European governments had engaged in a multi-decade pattern of illegal subsidies aimed at giving Airbus an unfair advantage in its competition with Boeing. In fact, it found that in the absence of banned “launch aid,” none of the planes currently offered by Airbus would ever have reached the market. Retaliatory penalties levied by the U.S. government against Europe could reach $10 billion annually, given the extent of the damage illegal subsidies have done to the U.S. aerospace industry. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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