WTO Countdown

It looks like the long-awaited, and long-overdue decisions on the complaints between the US and Europe over “illegal” subsidies to Airbus and Boeing may finally be about to be issued.

The London Times reports that a decision is due very soon from the World Trade Organization, which has been reviewing the complaints for two years now.

The US (Boeing) renounced the 1992 GATT agreement on commercial airplane subsidies in 2004 and filed a formal complaint with the WTO over “illegal” subsidies by European governments to Airbus the following year (or thereabouts). The European Union (Airbus) filed a similar complaint against Boeing six months later. Whether the WTO will rule on both complaints concurrently or six months apart remains to be seen.

We think both sides will be found guilty and both sides will appeal. In the end, we think neither side (the US or the EU) will impose penalties and even if they did, these won’t be on aircraft.

The entire process is a farce.

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