U.S. appeals WTO ruling over EU Airbus subsidies

09:15, August 20, 2010      

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The U.S. government on Thursday appealed part of the ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) over European subsidies provided to Airbus, even though it had claimed the ruling as a "landmark victory" on its part.

"The United States is challenging the WTO panel's finding that the launch aid granted to Airbus over the course of 40 years was not part of an ongoing program of assistance, and finding that certain launch aid contracts were not export subsidies," said Nefeterius McPherson, spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative.

The WTO expert panel issued in June its final ruling that confirmed the U.S. complaints that the European Union and some of its member states had provided "prohibited export subsidies," thus violating related WTO agreements.

However, the multilateral trade body dismissed part of the claims by the U.S. that key launch aid amounted to export subsidies which are illegal under WTO rules.

The EU decided in July to appeal the ruling, arguing that while the ruling sides with the EU in rejecting a significant number of U.S. claims, there are other aspects of the report which need to be corrected or clarified.

The U.S. first brought the case to the WTO in 2004, alleging that the EU had provided billions of euros in various forms of subsidies to Airbus, including so-called "launch aid" to its A380 and other major aircraft models, which violated WTO regulations.

In the same year, the EU also brought a case against Airbus' American rival, Boeing, alleging that the U.S. government had funded the company illegally.



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