The Aerospace Industries Association welcomes the final ruling of the World Trade Organization 353 Panel, which rejected all but a fraction of Europe’s claims against the United States of illegal subsidization of its large commercial aircraft industry. Of the $23.7 billion in European claims of illegal subsidies, only $2.7 billion were found to be inconsistent with WTO rules ($2.6 billion of which were NASA R&D funds).
This outcome is the reverse of the recent 316 Panel ruling, where 80 percent of U.S. claims of illegal European subsidies were upheld, totaling $20.1 billion. These combined rulings highlight in particular the market-distorting effects of European launch aid – loans provided by European governments that substantially reduce the business risk of introducing new-model airplanes.
AIA is a long-standing defender of global, rules-based trade. Taken collectively, these rulings are a testament to the strength of the WTO as an arbiter of international trade disputes. The United States, Europe and many other countries have an unquestioned reliance on trade to sustain growth and extend the promise of innovation across borders and among industrial and developing economies.
At the end of the day, it is important for both parties to live up to their respective commitments. It is also a time for those WTO member countries developing, or considering developing, civil aviation products to take notice that free and fair trade principles matter, and will be enforced, for the health, stability and growth of our industry.