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Montevideo, November 20th 2018 - 00:18 UTC

US told by WTO to drop a special tax exemption that benefits Boeing

Tuesday, November 29th 2016 - 09:01 UTC
Full article 3 comments
The tax cut was provided by the state of Washington in 2013 to ensure that wings for Boeing's new 777X jetliner were made only there. The tax cut was provided by the state of Washington in 2013 to ensure that wings for Boeing's new 777X jetliner were made only there.
“The panel has found that the additional massive subsidies of $5.7bn provided by Washington state to Boeing are strictly illegal,” said Cecilia Malmstrom “The panel has found that the additional massive subsidies of $5.7bn provided by Washington state to Boeing are strictly illegal,” said Cecilia Malmstrom

United States was given 90 days to drop a special tax exemption for the giant aerospace company Boeing because it amounts to an unlawful subsidy. The World Trade Organization (WTO) made the order after investigating a complaint from the European Union.

 The tax cut was provided by the state of Washington in 2013 to ensure that wings for Boeing's new 777X jetliner were made only there. The tax cut was “prohibited” under its rules, said the WTO.

The WTO decided that the measure, giving Boeing a special and very low “business and occupation” tax rate, was unlawful because it hinged on the airplane company being required to use local rather than imported materials - the wings - which in turn would distort trade.

“The Panel has found that the European Union has demonstrated that the B&O aerospace tax rate for the manufacturing or sale of commercial airplanes under the 777X program... is a subsidy contingent upon the use of domestic over imported goods [and is] prohibited,” said the WTO in its ruling.

“Accordingly, taking into account the nature of the prohibited subsidy found in this dispute, the Panel recommends that the United States withdraw it without delay and within 90 days,” it added. However an EU complaint about six other tax measures was rejected, although they were still deemed to be subsidies.

Boeing downplayed the impact of the WTO ruling against it. In total, the EU claimed that Boeing had received US$8.7bn in subsidies. This claim was rejected by the WTO, which found future incentives totaling no more than US$50 million a year to be impermissible,“ Boeing said.

The aerospace company added: ”The WTO found that to date Boeing has received no benefit from the 777X (tax) rate incentive, and will not until 2020, because the first airplane will not be delivered until then.“

However the EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, adopted a different interpretation of the WTO ruling. ”The panel has found that the additional massive subsidies of $5.7bn provided by Washington state to Boeing are strictly illegal,“ she said.

”We expect the US to respect the rules, uphold fair competition and withdraw these subsidies without any delay“.

Tom Enders, chief executive of Boeing's big rival Airbus, which in September was on the receiving end of a similar WTO ruling about EU subsidies - a complaint initiated by Boeing - held out an olive branch.

”I continue to think that the only way out of the ridiculous series of disputes initiated by the US is to agree on a set of globally applicable rules for the support of the civil aircraft industry, which would benefit both sides of the Atlantic,” he said.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • ChrisR

    Bribery, corruption, blackmail?

    What else would it be to make a commercial company change it's corporate mind about where major component are manufactured.

    Didn't the US stamp it's feet , throw it's arms around and make threats about AIRBUS?

    Boot on the other foot now it seems.

    Nov 29th, 2016 - 06:03 pm 0
  • Fidel_CasTroll

    Anglos and EUians barking one set of rules for everyone else to follow, but secretly or even not so secretly breaking every set of rules they bark at everyone?

    You mean they are the poster children of “Do as I say not as I do”? I am being blown away by the unexpected news!

    Tomorrow's Headline: Salt is salty.

    Nov 29th, 2016 - 10:02 pm 0
  • Clyde15

    We bow to your expert knowledge of corruption.you being a citizen of one of the world leaders in this department.

    Nov 30th, 2016 - 09:45 am 0
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