Airbus sees massive illegal subsidies for Boeing

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) today publicly condemned the United States for giving Boeing massive illegal subsidies that caused Airbus to lose $45 billion in sales, the European manufacturer said.

This follows years of unfounded accusations and attempts to demonise Airbus, especially during the protracted campaign to win the US Air Force contract for Tanker aircraft.

“Finally the truth emerges: Boeing has received and continues to receive subsidies which have a significantly greater distortive effect than the Reimbursable Loans to Airbus, “ said Rainer Ohler, Airbus’ Head of Public Affairs and Communications. “Taking the cases together, the WTO has now specifically green-lighted the continued use of government loans in Europe and ordered Boeing to end its illegal cash support from US taxpayers. It’s time for Boeing to stop denying or minimizing the massive illegal subsidies it gets”.

The WTO-report published today confirms Airbus’s earlier predictions: Boeing would not have been able to launch the 787 without illegal subsidies; Boeing has received “at least $5.3 billion” of US taxpayer dollars which has been determined illegal; an additional over $2 billion in state and local subsidies that Boeing will receive in the future are illegal: the effect of the subsidies is significantly larger than the face value of the subsidies in light of their particularly pervasive nature; the pervasive subsidies have thoroughly distorted competition within the aviation industry, directly resulting in significant harm to the European aerospace industry. 

“Boeing has shot themselves in the foot with the WTO proceedings,” indicates Rainer Ohler. “The company has achieved a massive condemnation of its U.S. funding mechanisms – provided the U.S. is willing to implement the ruling - while the European mechanism has been approved as a legal instrument. The only result of this anachronistic battle is that it limits America’s and Europe’s ability to compete with emerging competitors that have access to unlimited government funding.”

Airbus is pleased with the findings of the WTO report, but understands that the European Commission may appeal a number of issues relating to legal interpretation.  Airbus fully supports the European Commission in this respect.

FLUG REVUE 04/2018


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