The WTO released the public version of its report on the illegal subsidies for Boeing. There are plenty of stories on the Internet to choose from, so we won’t recap it all here. We have said and still say a pox on both houses.
But here is a 10 minute podcast by AirInsight of an interview with Airbus’ Alan McArtor, Chairman of Airbus Americas.
Here is a slightly longer podcast with Boeing’s top WTO official.
There is some interesting detail in the report. On the whole, US/Boeing have done better than EU/EADS in keeping within the letter, if not the spirit, of the WTO Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement. In other words, Boeing receives vast subsidies of all kinds, but they’re mostly crafted such that they’re nominally open to anyone even if Boeing is the only company that actually benefits from them.
Although the (Foreign Sales Corporation) subsidies are supposedly now withdrawn following a previous adverse ruling against the US, Boeing has continued to enjoy the prohibited tax breaks under grandfather provisions. It’s not clear though whether Boeing have received these tax breaks since the investigation started because it doesn’t need to claim them. Boeing aren’t saying one way or the other.
(page 577 of the report)
The initial WTO litigation already was crafted very carefully to
a keyhole view of the situtation with Boeing kept carefully in the
shadows. ( Even going as far as adding items that were rejected
by the WTO for being far offfield ).
All about gaining an advantage and never about fairness, free trade
or a level playing field.