Cantwell Issues Statement on Release of WTO Ruling on Airbus Subsidies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued the following statement on the release of the World Trade Organization’s ruling on European commercial aircraft subsidies:


“We have been saying all along that we want a level playing field in the tanker competition. What today’s WTO ruling makes clear is that the field has been tilted – in favor of Europe. This ruling finally puts to rest the rumors and misinformation that have been out there muddling an issue that is in fact very clear. As the WTO decision has made crystal clear, but for Launch Aid, Airbus would not have been able to develop any of its existing aircraft in the timeframe or the financial terms in which they came to market. I have emphasized repeatedly the importance of fair competition and prohibiting market distortion. Let me read from the WTO ruling: Had Airbus ‘launched these aircraft relying on only market financing, the increase in the level of debt Airbus would have accumulated over the years would have been massive.’ Airbus has been putting out statements that the European launch aid did not cause ‘material injury’ to any U.S. interest. That’s not how we read the finding that the illegal subsidies received by Airbus caused ‘adverse effects’ to the interests of the United States.  As the U.S. Trade Representative said today, the Panel’s findings confirm that launch aid and the other challenged subsidies to Airbus have “significantly distorted the global market for large civil aircraft, and that those subsidies have directly resulted in Boeing losing sales and market share.” The language of the WTO ruling could not be clearer: It says “The United States has demonstrated that Boeing suffered substantial lost sales during the period 2001-2006.”