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US, Boeing Claim Wins In Dispute With EU Over Aerospace Subsidies

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Ashley Gross
/
KPLU
Workers assemble a Boeing 787 at the company's production line in Everett. The Obama administration argued the EU had provided billions of dollars more in subsidies, causing lost exports worth tens of billions of dollars for Boeing.

The Obama administration says it has won an important victory in a World Trade Organization dispute with the European Union over subsidies to airplane manufacturer Airbus.

The WTO found in June 2011 that the EU provided billions of dollars in subsidized financing to Airbus. The EU subsequently claimed to have come into compliance, but the United States disagreed and requested that a compliance panel intervene.

The Obama administration says the panel has confirmed the U.S. was correct. Plus, it says the panel found that the EU had provided billions of dollars more in subsidies, causing lost exports worth tens of billions of dollars for Boeing Co.

U.S. Senator Patty Murray says the ruling is important to Washington state.

“I’m proud to join the effort to fight back on behalf of our workers and our families, the Washington economy, and the integrity of our international partnerships is at stake,” she said.

Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis A. Muilenburg, also celebrated the panel’s findings.

”Today's historic ruling finally holds the EU and Airbus to account for their flouting of global trade rules. This long-awaited decision is a victory for fair trade worldwide and for U.S. aerospace workers, in particular,” he said in a company statement.

Boeing, meanwhile, is looking toward the future and what might come next, saying the ruling now sets the stage for the U.S. to seek up to $10 billion in annual retaliatory tariffs on imports coming in from the EU.