Airbus moves to end 16 years of litigation, end US tariffs

AP – European planemaker Airbus said it is taking the last step to end 16 years of litigation with the United States (US) at the World Trade Organization (WTO) 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 USD7.5 billion worth of European exports.

The US tariffs covered not only Airbus planes but also a range of typical European exports such as gouda cheese.

The Airbus case centres 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 yesterday it agreed to make changes to this system of financial support.

“After 16 years of litigation at the WTO, this is the final step to stop the long-standing dispute and removes any justification for US 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.