Competition: WTO confirms Boeing received billions in illegal subsidies from United States

The World Trade Organisation’s Appellate Body (“WTO”) has issued a ruling in the so called “Boeing case” which confirms that billions of dollars in US subsidies, granted to Boeing, are illegal under WTO regulations. The complaint was originally brought by the European Communities which in June 2005, requested consultations with the United States (“US”) concerning prohibited subsidies provided to US producers of large civil aircrafts. In February 2006 a panel on the subject was established by the WTO and in March 2011, the panel report was circulated to Members.

In April 2011, the United States published its decision to appeal to the Appellate Body certain issues of law covered in the panel report and certain legal interpretations developed by the Panel. On 12 March 2012, the WTO’s Appellate Body issued its report, rejecting the US appeal and finding that US Federal and State governments had granted between USD 5 and 6 billion in subsidies, incompatible with WTO regulations, to Boeing between 1989 and 2006.

The Appellate Body went even further than the previous WTO Panel ruling in supporting the EU’s claims, notably by finding that the subsidies granted by the City of Wichita (Kansas) also triggered WTO regulations. Source: WTO Dispute Settlement – Dispute DS353

Roschier, Attorneys Ltd. - Finland