The dual appeal of the WTO Panel Findings in the European Union’s complaint against illegal subsidies provided Boeing for its commercial airplanes program has been issued, but it remains under wraps until March 12 to allow the parties to review it and request commercial sensitive information be deleted from the public version.
The WTO Panel found Boeing received more than $5bn in illegal subsidies. The key ones are grants from NASA and the Department of Defense, but tax breaks provided by the State of Washington–amounting to $3.2bn over 20 years–also were found to be illegal.
The EU and the US Trade Representative each appealed the Panel findings. The EU wanted to start the clock on the countdown to Boeing compliance as well as seeking reconsideration of complaints rejected by the Panel. The US appealed some of the findings of the Panel that found Boeing received illegal subsidies.
Leaks from both sides are expected in advance of the March 12 public release.
We expect the core of the Panel’s findings–that grants to Boeing are illegal–to be upheld. We also expect that the tax breaks granted by Washington State (as well as Kansas) will also continue to be held as illegal.
Boeing had contended throughout the process that Airbus had received more than $200bn in illegal aid, a figure Boeing claimed includes interest expenses. The WTO found only $18bn in aid was provided Airbus. The original WTO panel found $5bn in illegal aid to Boeing. The Appeals panel could lower or raise the Boeing figure. The Reuters article has some detail on the disputed amounts in the Boeing appeal.