US seeks arbitration for Boeing “harm” in WTO subsidies case

July 19, 2018, © Leeham News, Farnborough: Without fanfare and with no announcement from Boeing or the US Trade Representative, an official request has been filed with the World Trade Organization to commence arbitration in the 14-year trade dispute between the US and Europe over subsidies to Airbus.

In a short filing Friday, as the international press and international aviation community moved to Farnborough for the 2018 international air show, the US filed its request to begin arbitration.

Request for Arbitrator

“This is to inform you that on Friday, 13 July 2018, the United States requested the resumption of the Arbitrator’s work in the dispute European Communities and certain member States – Measures Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft.”

The one-page filing was posted Wednesday, smack in the middle of the air show.

The low-key, stealth-like filing is out of character for Boeing in this case. At nearly every turn, the company waged a high-profile PR campaign to paint Airbus as illegally receiving subsidies.

The arbitration is the result of the WTO appellate panel finding in May Airbus failed to fully comply with previous rulings concerning launch aid for the A350 and A380. Airbus said subsequently it made the adjustments the appellate panel identified.

Boeing and the USTR disputed this and said they would pursue the “harm” claim with the WTO Arbitration panel.

Airbus said there is no harm.

The arbitration may take up to 18 months.

The USTR’s appeal of a WTO finding against Washington State tax breaks for the Boeing 787 is expected to be handed down by year end.

11 Comments on “US seeks arbitration for Boeing “harm” in WTO subsidies case

      • This begins to be the Hatfields and McCoys that goes back so far no one remembers what the issue was and new ones created while still fighting about the original ones (which is an oxymoron I know but it expresses the situation me thinks) .

        Reminds me a lot of Facebook, drama without any goal other than drama.

  1. Boeing receives contract for air farce 1 costing just about what it was always going to cost despite using a couple of unwanted airframes which had been left lying around in the desert. God they’re good at negotiation.

  2. This is not really “arbtration.” See Reuters for a more complete version of this story:

    “World Trade Organization arbitrators will evaluate a U.S. request to impose billions of dollars worth of sanctions on European products after a final WTO ruling that found the European Union had given illegal subsidies to Airbus.”

    • Its a real shame that this has gone behind the paywall, because as a composites drone I can’t take offence at the suggestion that composites are for F wits. I am really interested in the idea that a carbon fuselage is unaffordable. OK the Initial investment in tooling is likely to be greater, but you can make it in a far fewer pieces and you need less of it.
      My gut feeling is that we are a lot closer to parity than most people think. I reckon that 2030 is about right.
      I would be really interested to hear from anyone who knows what they are talking about.

      • I think Bjorn is the only one participating who has that kind of background.

        I fully admit I was taken aback when we had a discussion on the Frame and Panel A350 vs the 787 spun fuselage that the A350 came out equal ( weight wise).

        I doubt he knows cost as you noted, its a materials with less labor vs materials with more labor contrast as well as the spinning equipment and auto clave.

        And we have advances in out of auto clave.

        If Boeing continues to count on 787 tech then that does indeed seem to be a stretch (pun intended). Some combination may work.

        Only Boeing knows for sure what they have up their sleeves.

        While speculation is fun, we only will know if they get the go ahead. If no go ahead we may find out latter what the approach was that was abandoned.

        Stay tuned to your local VORTAC for further updates!

    • Are they serious about “expand business case”. How many airframes a frighter version would add 10%? On the 767 they sold about 250 of 1,250. Damn, that’s even 20%… Changes everything….Well it’s “expanding” not”changing” or improving….

  3. It’s marketing. Apple does it too. By constantly accusing others of stealing/ copying they put themselves up in public opinion as innovative / victim of Samsung.

    Looking at the cases and verdicts they are as much guilty as victim.

    Here Boeing is playing victim for public opinion and politics. Helps them later on.

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