The World Trade Organization reported today that the U.S. government is substantially in compliance with rules regarding support of commercial transport manufacturers. Specifically, the WTO found that 28 of 29 state and federal programs that the European Union had alleged conferred unfair advantage on U.S. plane manufacturer Boeing were consistent with acceptable trade practices. The U.S. has said it will appeal the sole exception, which provides only modest assistance to Boeing. In marked contrast to U.S. behavior, European governments have done little or nothing to rectify massive subsidies to Airbus that the WTO long ago ruled were illegal. The U.S. Trade Representative estimates that illegal European aircraft subsidies cost the American aerospace industry $7-10 billion every year. A WTO panel found that every plane Airbus has ever brought to market was supported by illegal “launch aid.” I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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