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EU loses bid to overturn WTO Airbus ruling

AFP  |  Geneva 

A World Trade Organization panel found on Monday that the EU had failed to remove illegal subsidies given to Airbus, which are at the centre of bitter dispute between Washington and Brussels.

Last month, a WTO arbitrator gave the United States the green light to slap tariffs on USD 7.5 billion worth of European Union imports, a landmark moment in the 15-year legal battle between Airbus and American planemaker Boeing.

The arbitrator's award, the largest in the organisation's history, was in retaliation for various subsidies and other support given to Airbus by the EU, which violated WTO rules.

An initial compliance panel had found that the EU was breaking the rules but last year Brussels asked for a second panel to weigh in, arguing that it had modified its behaviour.

The second panel, which issued its decision Tuesday, said the EU was still giving improper support to Airbus.

"The European Union and certain member States have failed to implement the recommendations and rulings of the Dispute Settlement Body to bring its measures into conformity with its obligations," the panel's decision said.

It therefore found that earlier rulings in the case, which paved the way for the historic penalty, "remain operative." The decision can be appealed.

In separate cases initiated by the EU, the WTO has also ruled that various branches of the US government have given illegal subsidies to Boeing. The WTO is expected to set the amount of retaliatory tariffs the EU can impose early next year.

Both Washington and Brussels have indicated a desire to negotiate a solution to the epic airline industry spat and avoid the tit-for-tat tariffs, however.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, December 02 2019. 22:15 IST
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