Myth: There is no end in sight for this dispute.
Fact: The WTO has spoken for the very last time on the illegality of Airbus subsidies. There are no more appeals left for the EU to pursue. Now begins the process for the United States to impose billions of dollars in WTO-approved sanctions, which should be in place this year.
Myth: If the U.S. Government pursues sanctions, we will end up with a trade war.
Fact: Not so—such sanctions are a part of the rules-based global trading system. The USG has diligently followed a WTO dispute resolution process designed to bring about EU compliance, while avoiding the kind of unilateral actions that can lead to a trade war. It is a process the EU endorsed when the WTO was created, and that the EU has used many times to successfully challenge illegal trade actions by other countries, without sparking a trade war.
Myth: Boeing gets illegal subsidies too.
Fact: The WTO has dismissed the vast majority of the EU’s claims on this subject. There is only one limited finding against the United States, and Boeing will support the United States and Washington State as they take steps necessary to fully comply with today’s ruling.
Myth: Resolution of this dispute cannot happen until the EU and US cases have both run their course.
Fact: Neither party’s obligation to comply with the rulings against them is contingent on the outcome of other cases. WTO cases are separate and distinct in that regard.
Myth: As evidenced by Boeing’s large backlog of orders and its record profits, Boeing clearly has not been harmed, nor is it competitively disadvantaged by the support Airbus receives from European governments.
Fact: The WTO has examined this exhaustively and found, again and again, that Boeing has been harmed to a massive degree—billions upon billions of dollars in sales and market share lost to subsidy-created Airbus airplanes. Boeing cannot be expected to stand by and do nothing, especially with emerging new competitors watching closely to see how this dispute turns out.
Myth: Aerospace is different from other industries and requires some level of government support.
Fact: Boeing has proven otherwise. We have financed all of our new airplane programs without the kind of government handout that launch aid represents.