WTO ruling in Boeing case: Statement by Trade Committee Chair 

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Following the WTO authorization to levy EU sanctions worth $4 billion on US imports, trade committee Chair Bernd Lange (S&D, DE) made the following statement Tuesday.

"We have been waiting for this decision for a long time. After 15 years, the European Union finally got the green light to impose rebalancing tariffs worth $4 billion. I sincerely hope that this decision will work as an incentive to end these disputes through a negotiated settlement. That should remain the absolute priority because in times like these we should, more than ever, work together and not against each other.

I therefore call on both sides to enter into negotiations to reach a long-term agreement on civil aircraft subsidies. The mini-deal concluded between the EU and the US has already created a momentum.


However, if there is no constructive engagement from the American side even after the presidential elections, the EU should not be naive. Instead, it should enforce its rights by putting in place the tariffs the WTO rules now allow the EU to impose. We will levy tariffs within the boundaries set by the WTO. These rules allow us to take countermeasures that safeguard the interests of the European Union”.


Background

Today’s decision came in a case started by the EU against US subsidies to Boeing in 2005. The Appellate Body in its ruling of 11 April 2019 confirmed that the US has not taken appropriate action to comply with the WTO rules on subsidies. Now the WTO has set the maximum value of the possible EU retaliation.

On 18 October 2019, Washington imposed tariffs worth $7.5 billion on EU products on the basis of a similar WTO authorisation after a 2018 decision that  the EU and its Member States had not fully complied with previous WTO rulings on the Airbus A350 and A380 programmes.

The EU said  in July 2020 that the concerned Member States - France, Spain and Germany - and the EU were "in full compliance with the rulings of the WTO in the Airbus case. This removes any grounds for the U.S. to maintain its countermeasures on EU exports and makes a strong case for a rapid settlement of the long-running dispute.”