WTO to let EU

WTO to let EU levy $4 bn in Boeing/Airbus dispute

F.P Report

Paris: The WTO is set to approve EU sanctions worth around $4.0 billion against imports of US goods and services in connection with a long-running Airbus/Boeing spat, the Bloomberg news agency reported Wednesday.

The World Trade Organization, the European Union and Airbus declined to comment when contacted by AFP, while Boeing did not reply immediately.

 A source close to the matter who asked to remain anonymous said the amount would likely be “a little less” than that reported by the media.             

A decision was to be announced on October 13, the source added.

 An EU commission spokesman told AFP: “We regret that the confidentiality of the process has been broken.”  

The WTO’s decision “has not been finalised and is not yet public,” the spokesman added.             

The European Union and the United States accuse each other of providing illegal state aid to their respective aircraft manufacturers.       

Last year, the WTO authorized $7.5 billion in US sanctions against European goods and services.     

It was the biggest amount authorized to date by the WTO and was a result of EU aid to Airbus that was deemed improper under international trade regulations.

The latest WTO decision, if announced in mid-October, would come just weeks before the US presidential election in which international trade relations are an important issue.

When the WTO authorized the US sanctions, Washington imposed a 15 percent tariff on aircraft imported from the EU, and 25 percent tariffs on products such as wine, cheese, coffee and olives, according to a list published by the US trade representative.

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