U.S. challenges WTO ruling on state tax breaks for Boeing

EVERETT — The United States is challenging the World Trade Organization’s ruling that tax breaks passed by Washington amount to illegal support for the Boeing Co.

The appeal is the latest twist in a long-running transatlantic legal fight over public support for Boeing and its European rival, the Airbus Group. The European Union and the U.S. each accuse the other of providing illegal subsidies for airplane manufacturing.

Last month, the WTO ruled that some of the tax breaks passed in 2013 by Washington are illegal under international trade rules.

The appeal filed by the U.S. on Dec. 16, argues that the WTO panel misapplied the rules and misconstrued critical facts in reaching its decision.

Given the WTO Appellate Body’s backlog of work, it could be more than a year before it rules in the matter.

In October, the EU appealed the WTO’s ruling that Airbus was still receiving illegal subsidies that should have stopped in 2011.

After the U.S. and the EU exhaust their legal options, they will have to either negotiate a settlement or punish each other with WTO-approved trade restrictions.

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