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Press Release of Senator Cantwell
Cantwell Issues Statement on Interim WTO Decision on EU-Boeing Case
Wednesday, September 15,2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued the following statement on the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) interim decision regarding the formal complaint the European Union (EU) brought in 2006 against alleged U.S. government subsidies to Boeing:
“In June, the World Trade Organization ruled unambiguously that the billions of dollars in aircraft-specific launch aid Airbus received from European Union nations amounted to an illegal subsidy that harmed the U.S. aerospace industry and its workers. The launch aid was product-specific. One of the aircraft models developed with the help of this illegal subsidy is the air frame that Airbus is putting forward as the basis for its tanker bid. The bottom line is that WTO said EU launch aid needs to stop.
“While I can’t discuss the details of the WTO’s preliminary ruling, I can say that the WTO panel rejected 75 to 80 percent of the European Union’s originally alleged subsidy claims. In dollar terms, the WTO found only a small fraction of the $20 billion in subsidies alleged by the EU. Most of those subsidies have long since been withdrawn. Importantly, the findings did not identify any existing prohibited subsidies, contrary to some media reports.
“This ruling confirms what we have been saying all along: It is EADS that has benefitted from illegal subsidies relating to the Air Force tanker competition.”