Associated Press
Friday, July 24, 2020

European planemaker Airbus says it is taking the last step to end 16 years of litigation with the United States at the World Trade Organization over subsidies.

The manufacturer said it will end a system of financial support from France and Spain that the WTO had deemed illegal and unfair to rival Boeing. The Trump administration used the case as justification to slap tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of European exports.

The U.S. tariffs covered not only Airbus planes but also a range of typical European exports, from gouda cheese to single-malt whiskey.

The Airbus case centers on so-called launch aid from European countries that WTO judges ruled had impeded sales for aircraft from Boeing in the twin-aisle and very large aircraft markets.

Airbus said Friday that it had agreed to make changes to this system of financial support.

“After 16 years of litigation at the World Trade Organisation, this is the final step to stop the long-standing dispute and removes any justification for U.S. tariffs,” the company said.

A WTO official said the trade body hasn’t received any communication from the European Union on this matter, and declined to comment further.

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