Boeing on WTO ruling: We didn’t get as much illegal aid as Airbus

The Boeing Co. is emphasizing that it received less illegal aid from the United States than rival Airbus got from European governments, following the publication of a trade ruling Thursday.

The World Trade Organization published its ruling on claims by Airbus that Boeing got unfair government handouts. The ruling had been shared with U.S. and European Union officials earlier this year but was not made public until Thursday.

The WTO already has issued a ruling on Boeing’s claims that Airbus got illegal subsidies from the EU.

“This WTO ruling shatters the convenient myth that European governments must illegally subsidize Airbus to counter U.S. government assistance to Boeing,” said J. Michael Luttig, Boeing executive vice president and general counsel, in a statement.

Boeing says the WTO found the company received just $2.7 billion in illegal help from the U.S. government, compared to the more than $20 billion the WTO found Airbus got from the EU.

Not everyone agrees with Boeing’s reading of the WTO ruling. This Reuters story out of Geneva, where the WTO is located, puts Boeing illegal funding at closer to $5.3 billion.

The trade cases could drag on through appeals for years.

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