Left Menu
Development News Edition

TIMELINE-Highlights of the 16-year Airbus, Boeing trade war

The EU files a complaint on U.S. aid for Boeing. 2005 The WTO launches twin probes into public support for Boeing and Airbus after bilateral negotiations fail. 2006 Airbus announces a new A350 jetliner for which it will seek further government loans from host nations. 2009 The WTO issues an interim ruling that some European aid provided to Airbus violated a ban on export subsidies - a type of aid deemed most harmful and therefore automatically banned. 2010 The WTO demands a halt to unfair aid for jets including the Airbus A380 superjumbo.

Reuters | Updated: 13-10-2020 23:02 IST | Created: 13-10-2020 22:28 IST
TIMELINE-Highlights of the 16-year Airbus, Boeing trade war
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

The World Trade Organization on Tuesday gave the European Union permission to impose tariffs on $4 billion of U.S. goods, but Washington said there was no legal basis to do since a state tax break for Boeing Co had been repealed. Washington and Brussels traded terse statements in the latest twist in an epic 16-year-old dispute over support for airplane makers, the largest ever corporate trade dispute, but both sides insist they want to settle the dispute.

The WTO has previously found the world's two largest planemakers received billions of dollars of unfair subsidies in a pair of cases dating back to 2004. Here are highlights of the feud that has spawned thousands of pages of rulings, triggered threats of tit-for-tat tariffs on goods from plane parts to whisky and left both sides claiming victory while racking up an estimated $100 million in costs.

2004 The U.S. seeks talks with the EU and Airbus host nations Britain, France, Germany and Spain over alleged unfair subsidies via government loans. Washington terminates a 1992 U.S.-EU agreement covering support for Airbus and Boeing. The EU files a complaint on U.S. aid for Boeing.

2005 The WTO launches twin probes into public support for Boeing and Airbus after bilateral negotiations fail.

2006 Airbus announces a new A350 jetliner for which it will seek further government loans from host nations.

2009 The WTO issues an interim ruling that some European aid provided to Airbus violated a ban on export subsidies - a type of aid deemed most harmful and therefore automatically banned.

2010 The WTO demands a halt to unfair aid for jets including the Airbus A380 superjumbo. It says some government loans for the jet amount to "prohibited" export subsidies. But it rejects a U.S. request to include aid for the newer A350 in the case.

2011 The EU loses an appeal and is given until December to comply. However the WTO drops its finding that the A380 loans are in the "prohibited" category, softening its earlier ruling.

A separate WTO panel partially backs the EU in its counter-case alleging $19 billion of support for Boeing from the U.S. government, NASA and various states and municipalities, and rules against aid for Boeing worth at least $5.3 billion. 2012

WTO appeal judges broadly uphold the ruling against U.S. support for Boeing. Both sides say they have complied with the WTO's rulings, while accusing the other side of failing to do so.

2013 Boeing announces the twin-engined 777X and agrees to build it in Washington state shortly after the local legislature agrees $8.7 billion in new aerospace industry tax breaks.

2014 The EU opens a second front in the trade battle by launching a separate complaint against the 777X tax breaks granted by Washington state and this time chooses a faster, all-or-nothing approach by targeting them purely as "prohibited" subsidies - without the usual fallback of a second, softer claim.

2016 After a year-long lull in the main dispute, the WTO says the EU failed to comply with its earlier rulings on Airbus. It also agrees for the first time to target aid for the new A350 but rejects U.S. calls to put this in the "prohibited" category.

In November, the WTO rules tax breaks surrounding the development of the Boeing 777X - the subject of the EU's second case - did fall into the more severe "prohibited" category. 2017

WTO appeal judges reverse the ruling that the 777X tax breaks are in the "prohibited" column, bringing an abrupt halt to the EU's second case. In the EU's main case, the WTO largely clears the United States of maintaining unfair support for Boeing but says it has failed to withdraw the earlier Washington state tax breaks.

The EU appeals this decision, but the WTO does not change its stance in a follow-on ruling, published the same year. 2018

In May, the WTO again rules that the EU has failed to halt all subsidies to Airbus and that these continue to harm Boeing. The United States threatens sanctions on billions of dollars of European products. Both sides enter arbitration to determine the scope of tariffs. 2019

In March, the WTO says the United States has again failed to halt subsidized tax breaks to Boeing in Washington state. The two sides disagree widely in public over the amount of subsidy faulted by the WTO. Both sides accuse the other of refusing to negotiate any settlement and unveil lists of billions of dollars of proposed tariffs on each others' goods.

WTO arbitrators award the United States the right to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion of annual EU imports. In October, Washington imposes 10% tariffs on most European-made Airbus jets and 25% duties on products ranging from cheese to olives and single-malt whisky. In December, the WTO rejects EU claims that it no longer provides subsidies to Airbus, prompting Washington to say it could increase tariffs on a wider range of European goods to increase pressure on Brussels to comply. 2020

The United States announces an increase in tariffs on aircraft imported from the EU to 15% from 10%. In March, the Washington state legislature votes to remove a contested aerospace tax break that had benefited Boeing.

In October, following delays due to the coronavirus crisis, the WTO grants Brussels permission to impose tariffs on $4 billion of U.S. goods over subsidies for Boeing. The European Commission offers to pull back from imposing tariffs if Washington withdraws its existing tariffs on European goods such as wine and whisky.

But the U.S. Trade Representative's office says Brussels has "no legal basis" to impose the tariffs since a tax break provided by Washington State to Boeing has been repealed.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Natarajan or Shardul could replace Saini as India look to salvage pride

Left chasing shadows in the first two games, a listless Indian team would most certainly tweak its bowling combination in order to avoid a second successive clean-sweep when it takes on Australia in the third and final ODI here on Wednesday...

Peter Dinklage to star in 'Toxic Avenger' reboot

Game of Thrones alum Peter Dinklage has found his next project in Legendarys new Toxic Avenger film. The reboot will be a modern-day take on Troma Entertainments 1984 low-budget action comedy hit, The Toxic Avenger, reported Deadline. Mac...

Philip Green's Arcadia UK fashion group falls into administration

British tycoon Philip Greens Arcadia fashion group has collapsed into administration, putting over 13,000 jobs at risk and becoming the countrys biggest corporate casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic so far, administrator Deloitte said on Mond...

Dreaming of day when other batsmen are compared to me: Babar Azam

Comparison with modern-day greats like Virat Kohli makes Babar Azam proud but young Pakistan skipper aspires to be on a pedestal from where comparison are drawn with him. I feel proud to be compared to these top batsmen and to be ranked...

Give Feedback