WTO appeals panel upholds Boeing subsidy findings

Word is leaking out in advance of Monday’s public release of the appeal of a WTO finding that Boeing benefited from illegal subsidies that the appeals panel upheld the findings.

Additional reports: Here and here.

Boeing has previously said on several occasions that if the WTO found it received illegal subsidies, it would write a check. We’ll see what spin occurs next week on this point.

The European Union claims Airbus has now conformed with the WTO findings against it, a claim rejected by the US Trade Representative and Boeing.

35 Comments on “WTO appeals panel upholds Boeing subsidy findings

  1. Ho humm- take for example the help BA received from NASA claim

    Yep NASA did major development work on ” winglets”

    And Boeing ( plus many others ) now use them – including Airbus

    The major improvements werfe don by a few ex-Boeing types, who had to then overcome the MDC aerotypes salted in BA after the ( spit) acquisition. The MDC types pushed the trailing edge inboard wedge game used on the DC10-11 series to overcome a messed up wing design, such that MDC had to pay for a few empty seats on longer flights. The ‘ wedge” lost.
    Then as is now in the news,Airbus wanted a better ‘ winglet’ so they looked at the type that Aeropartners used.

    So if one wants to claim that Boeing got help from NASA on winglets, so did Airbus- and at least that issue becomes a push.

    second- BTW NASA research for the most part is public – and even Airbus can use it for a nominal cost.- as in having to pay for a few documents or perhaps even reproduction costs !

    definitely a major subsidy .

  2. Most Important nasa develops are patented and not publicly available.

    Many were handed over to Boeing.

    For the 787 this happened on a large scale.

    Also benefits the US civil industry has/had from space and militairy program during the last 70 years are enormous.

    Europe industry has/had similar benefits but nowhere close to the scale the US industry has/had.

  3. Airbus has benefitted from NASA research too. The A-350 composits would not have happened if it were not because of NASA, nor would the A-380.

    • Just because for you NASA is the only visible research institution in that arena does not make in depth research elsewhere nonexistant.
      Absolutely fascinating that americans are so sure that anything ever invented can only come from their turf and others can only be involved by way of using US IP.

  4. keesje :
    Most Important nasa develops are patented and not publicly available.
    Many were handed over to Boeing.
    For the 787 this happened on a large scale.
    Also benefits the US civil industry has/had from space and militairy program during the last 70 years are enormous.
    Europe industry has/had similar benefits but nowhere close to the scale the US industry has/had.

    http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/
    In 1958, President Eise­n­hower signed the Space Act, officially creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. From the beginning, the purpose for the ne­w branch extended beyond space ships and moon boots. The law stipulated that its research and advancements should benefit all people, and in its 50-year history, NASA has certainly fulfilled that role. . . .

    Hmmmmm… again name something that NASA-NACA will not licensce at no or low cost ??

  5. leehamnet :
    We thought the Russians invented everything first….

    Traditionally everything was invented at home.

    It is quite interesting to compare Wikipedia pages on the same topic ( forex the telephone ) over the range of languages.
    Noteworthy is that the en(_US) pages traditionally leave out any references from abroad.
    this mirrors talking to the natives. Just recently talked to someone who actually “knew” that
    the 30years was adjacent to WWI and a fourtnight later WWII while real civilisation only set in
    by way of the Marshall Plan 😉
    The market domination by innovation after WWII is a strong fixation but of very limited truth.
    A large unified market versus one formed by living through the destruction of 2 wars and then heavily fragmented has higher significance.
    Removing the fragmentation increased competitiveness to no end. qed.

    • Perhaps you are right, Uwe. The US made a big mistake by implamenting the Marshall Plan….NOT.

      • Without the Marshall Plan the US economy would have vanished in a black hole after WWII.

  6. keesje :
    http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2010/september/tradoc_146484.pdf

    And the published results of the NASA research have been forever witheld from Airbus-EADS- etc ?

    Of course in the 1950’s- the discovery of R Whitcombs area rule re supersonic flight was classified for a while- but then was made available to our allies, etc

    At that time- the only aircraft wanting or needing to fly at that speed were military.

    Most all of the reasearch on the Saturn program was public – and freely or at minimum cost licensed.

    For example, NASA developed a high energy magnetic device to ‘ pound” out dings in aluminum or thin gage tanks used on saturn program.

    It was a coil on end of a shovel handle- driven by a high voltage capacitor bank.

    That device eventually in the late 1960’s was morphed ( by Boeing ) into an lightweight – high energy riveter used first on 747. The basics of that device could not be patented.
    eventually it was picked up by a local firm called electro- impact, which is the low voltage version- and used now by Boeing, Airbus, etc all over the world.

    How do I know all this – simple- I designed and built the first such riveting unit as part of the SST program and coined the name electro-magnetic riveter or EMR.

    Just another example of the ‘ secret’ stuff by NASA witheld from the world. ;-PPPP

    • I am not quite sure, but afaics you can find references to “Electromagnetic forming” in engineering papers from soviet russia and the GDR. ( 50ties ). Another batch of early publications are swiss.
      That takes nothing away from ElectroImpact on industrialisation and a successfull marketing operation.

      • UWE —

        Uwe :
        I am not quite sure, but afaics you can find references to “Electromagnetic forming” in engineering papers from soviet russia and the GDR. ( 50ties ). Another batch of early publications are swiss.
        That takes nothing away from ElectroImpact on industrialisation and a successfull marketing operation.

        What i it with you ? For example The marshall plan was FROM the U.S to Europe.

        And as to electroforming – there is a world of difference between electromagnetic forming used in the late 40’s – 50’s to swage driveshaft torque tubes for automotive use( for example ) , and the concept of equal and opposite rivet forces needed to ‘ swage’ a ( slug) rivet head. I ( we) were able to use 2 handheld lightweight ( 100-150 pound ) EMR rivet ‘ guns’ to develop >>30,000 pounds force in one blow needed to set rivet slugs, etc with little residual force on the 747 program in the early 1970’s . developed from a lightweight C frame to drive titanium or a286 alloy rivets in 1968. It was about 10 years later before electro- impact got into the game.

        My point was and is – the availability of certain NASA work and equipment as part of the Saturn program was the ‘ seed “- and since the riveter concept was a product of that, any patents directly related would be subject to government issues and freely available to anyone- U.S or not.

        ALL of which goes back to the basic WTO issue and your comments about ‘ secret’ patents etc. held only by NASA/NACA.

      • Yeah Wue, the Soviets sure did help out Europe, didn’t they? When the Iron Curtain finally fell, and Germany reunified, mo0st of Eastern Europe was found to still be living in the 1940s. All with the help of the Russians, and their puppet governments, like the German Democratic Republic (aka East Germany) you so praise.

    • Yeah, it was invented in 1958 by Roger Bacon at Union Carbide in Cleveland, OH. Last I read Ohio was not a part of the EU. Did I miss something?
      Like I said, Airbus has benefitted from NASA research, not only in CFRP, but in a host of other airas of airplane design.

      • “This process proved to be inefficient, as the resulting fibers contained only about 20% carbon and had low strength and stiffness properties.”
        And note the first carbon fibres were manufactured by
        Humphrey Davy ~1800 😉

        The more interesting thing was the next paragraph:
        “The high potential strength of carbon fiber was realized in 1963 in a process developed by W. Watt, L. N. Phillips, and W. Johnson at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough, Hampshire. The process was patented by the UK Ministry of Defence then licensed by the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) to three British companies: Rolls-Royce, already making carbon fiber, Morganite and Courtaulds. They were able to establish industrial carbon fiber production facilities within a few years, and Rolls-Royce took advantage of the new material’s properties to break into the American market with its RB-211 aero-engine.”

  7. Nasa makes all knowledge available to everyone for the well being of mankind & then Beethoven 9th kicks in & tears come up.

    Nada.

    NASA and DOD transfer to Boeing valuable patent rights, rights to trade secrets, and exclusive
    rights to certain data for LCA-related and other technologies.

    And this probably is uphold by WTO.

    Common sense should tell everyone that this cold war Eisenhower Space Act did what it was supposed to do.

  8. What do any of the above comments have to do with the WTO conclusion
    that Boeing (also) received illegal subsidies?

    I strongly believe, therefore, that Boeing should stop wasting any more
    money on legal fees, if for no other reason than these comments at the
    bottom of the above news article:
    “We don’t expect any change on fundamentals. It should not surprise us
    or Boeing. There is no way they can win this case,” a spokeswoman said.”

    • GEEZE RUDY Do you want to put Perkins Coie out of business ? :-PP

      I guess the Marshall Plan was NOT a subsidy after WW2 to aid in rebuilding European manuf and the like. And the GATT 92 did not help what became Airbus to develop LCA ( meaning any aircraft capable of carrying more than ONE passenger ), so it was not a subsidy either.
      And the no recourse ‘ low rate ‘ loans dependent on meeting ‘ sales targets ‘ by XX years were not subsidies.

      You are probably right- dump the legal staff- and hire more power point rangers who get a 10 minute course in describing an airplane and a photo that proves the pointy end with windows is the front end.

  9. Uwe :
    Without the Marshall Plan the US economy would have vanished in a black hole after WWII.

    Do you have proof of that? Are you speculating on history? Are you rewriting history?

    The Marshall Plan, which was really the European Recovery Program (ERP), ran from 1948 to 1952, and costs US taxpayers some $44B, not counting the money given to the rest of the world, mostly in Asia. Germany received the 3rd largest amount of money from the US, behind England and France. Hell even Switzerland received some $250M in 1950 and 1951, and they were not even in WWII, or suffered any damage.

    Most of the ERP was handed out to countries in the form of grants, money that does not have to be repaid, but some money was loans from the US Government. The US did suffer a recession in 1949 that lasted for about 1 year, US GDP declined by about 2%, but we still stuck with the ERP.

    But back on the subject, Airbus and Boeing both benefit from NASA aeronautical research conducted at the Ames Research Center in California.

    • TB, keeping in mind that your “facts” traditionally don’t match up to reality,
      you are not really in a good position to ask for proof, right?

      Anyway:
      The initial planning for Germany was to regress it into an agrarian society.

      Europe and Asia as a whole were down in tatters.
      The war had, _except for the US_ , beggared most nations.
      To win this war for the allies the SU had just sacrificed more than
      20million of their people.
      Who would have bought american goods in such a situation?
      Who would have been able to repay the “lent and lease” stuff?
      Who would have been willing to fight with the US against that new enemy : the SU ?

      Not ignoring the absolutely beneficial effects of the Marshall Plan
      for the US it was completely self serving.
      And how would the SU have been able to complement that?

  10. My take on the WTO battles so far is that EADS and Boeing have both lost. They have both failed to achieve their objectives. EADS wanted to carry on as before, but Boeing has upset that by taking them to court*. Boeing went to court to establish that they were different, and better, than EADS. The court has effectively said they are just as bad.

    Where do you do from here?

    * Strictly, government to government, but everyone knows the companies are calling the shots

    • That depends on what the actual objectives were. If it was to end Launch Aid as it existed, I’d say that was accomplished. If it was to “punish” Airbus… that was not. Airbus’ case was similarly executed to purely “punish” Boeing, and that also will be a failure. Nor would it been likely to succeed. WTO is not that kind of a body. It has zero enforcement power, and can basically be ignored if you don’t really like the situation. Take for example the Canada v. Brazil situation. Both sides guilty, both sides growl at each other, but then carry on merrily doing what they were doing before. In the end, it depends entirely on the will of the governments to implement sanctions or work out the problem. All the rest is just window dressing, and red meat for Fanboys.

      • IMHO one objective was to increase exposure to the rating agencies for Airbus (forced to get needed liquidity from the “market” ) and press them into the Quarterly Results Lifecycle.
        Give the financial market forces more leverage against Airbus.

        All designed to entangle the competition. Forget about “level
        playing field” verbiage.

        That certainly did not work out as planned.

        The IMHO required retaliation from the EU side seems to have
        had better “sticking” results.

        It is imho unclear if Boeing expected an all over significantly different outcome or was just playing for time and releasing
        a judicious amount of FUD into the wild.
        In a different timeline where the Dreamliner and 748 projects
        executed without fault this might have worked out differently.
        But in that timeline Boeing would have actually competed on
        product quality and not on the legal turf anyway.

        The involved lawyers will have made the most out of riding this seesaw.

  11. FF :
    Where do you do from here?

    Back to court with both European and American laywers laughing all the way to the bank while Airbus and Boeing keep quite to ensure the governments are paying.

    Flightglobal Flight Blog referred to Dickens and the Jarndyce v Jarndyce case in regards to all the WTO procedings. I think that is about the best description I have seen till now.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jarndyce_and_Jarndyce

  12. Little note from the Web:

    GLARE is currently (2004) the most successful FML, patented by Akzo Nobel in 1987 and now entering commercial application in the Airbus A380, which has recently received a full type certificate from the FAA and European Aviation Authorities. The patent cites as inventors Roebroeks and Vogelesang, two former professors at the aerospace engineering faculty of Delft University of Technology, where much of the R & D for GLARE was done in the 1970s and 1980s.

    No NASA did not invent everything. It would have been nice to have GLARE for the Apollo Program.

    • Yes, Glare was invented at TU Delft. Glare was used on the first several dozen 777s in the cargo liners. Later replaced with standard Aluminum. Baud Vogelesang is a very nice guy.

      • Although the materials are different for Glare vs an old-discontinued cold bond process wherein two aluminum (skins) ( lap joints) ( panels ) were glued together, there is a problem with hidden bond failures for a variety of reasons- moisture, different modulus, etc.

        Matter of fact the first few hundred 737s used the cold bond process. It was eventually dropped from the production process after a few notable failures ( the Aloha Airlines – flying convertible when a major skin section failed due to hidden corrosion ) .

        perhaps the GLARE system has found a way to overcome similar issues- what with better inspection or better more robust ‘ glues” etc.

        It might take a few years to find out for sure. Cargo liner fractures/cracks/costs/ problems are one thing- structural fractures/failures are another

  13. KC135TopBoom :
    Yeah Wue, the Soviets sure did help out Europe, didn’t they? When the Iron Curtain finally fell, and Germany reunified, mo0st of Eastern Europe was found to still be living in the 1940s. All with the help of the Russians, and their puppet governments, like the German Democratic Republic (aka East Germany) you so praise.

    Hey, whatever else happened – we *ALL* owe the Russians for ending WW2 for us! Without their enormous sacrifice (most casualties for one nation, I believe) the German forces wouldn’t have been broken down to a state where the Allies could make inroads on the European side!

    • FWIW – visited belgrade and bulgaria and other countries along the danube in fall of 1998
      They had finally advanced almost to the 1950’s

      Took a tour of belgrade late 1998- past the chinese embassy shown as such on the tour maps – that was a few months before we somehow got the wrong address and put a missile thru their 3rd floor window. ;-PP

  14. Isn’t it finally time for American and European trade officials to drop efforts to impose sanctions to punish one another’s financial support for commercial aircraft manufacturers? Reciprocal sanctions are nothing other than the trade equivalent of the Cold War doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction.

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