EU Declares Win in Airliner Trade Spat With US

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One of longest-running and most bitterly contested trade disputes came to a head yesterday after the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled that the European Union illegally paid Airbus $18bn (£13.3bn) in subsidies, paving the way for retaliatory tariffs from the US.

"Today's report is really only half the story", Airbus CEO Tom Enders says, as the WTO is expected to issue a ruling in the coming months on an European Union case against the USA over subsidies provided to Boeing, which could rebalance today's outcome.

"Today's final ruling sends a clear message: Disregard for the rules and illegal subsidies is not tolerated", Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, said in a statement. Full details to come.

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The decision could further ramp up tensions between the US and Europe, which have been stoked by President TrumpDonald John TrumpAvenatti defends right to release Cohen's financial info Pruitt's 24/7 security requested over fears of Trump policy backlash Senate GOP anger over McCain insult grows MORE's criticism of EU trade policies, his refusal to provide a permanent exemption for tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports and last week's decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal. The Geneva-based WTO can't force nations or companies to drop payments that violate trade rules, but it can authorize retaliatory measures to pressure governments into complying with its rulings.

"The other half coming out later this year will rule strongly on Boeing's subsidies and we'll see then where the balance lies", he said.

European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem insisted that the ruling also rejected "the vast majority" of United States claims against it, while saying in a statement that the bloc "will now take swift action to ensure it is fully in line with the WTO's final decision in this case".

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The WTO dismissed an appeal by Airbus saying, the European plane maker had failed to fix the harm done to Boeing.

The Geneva watchdog, however, had dismissed US claims that the loans for the most popular models of Airbus, the A320 and A330, were costing aignisignif sales to Boeing.

Airbus shares fell shortly after the WTO issued its findings and were poised to close down around 0.86 per cent.

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Airbus chief executive Tom Enders called the ruling a "significant legal success for the European aviation industry". Boeing fell less than 1 percent to $342.09 at 12:37 p.m.in NY, recovering from losses logged before the decision was issued.

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