The World Trade Organization (WTO) said Thursday that the European Union is seeking 12 billion dollars in annual trade sanctions against the United States as part of a long-running dispute over subsidies between aircraft makers Boeing and Airbus.
The WTO said it had received a request from the EU to approve the sanction in retaliation for the US failing to halt illegal subsidies to Boeing.
The EU wants to suspend tariff concessions on US goods as a form of retaliation, an official in Geneva with knowledge of the complaint said on condition of anonymity, dpa reported.
The move by the EU follows the US assertion on Sunday that it was in full compliance with WTO rulings. The Geneva-based trade body found in March that US state and government institutions have aided Boeing with several billion dollars worth of illegal subsidies.
The EU trade commission decided to seek sanctions after reviewing a list of remedies submitted by the US Trade Representative and found them insufficient. The commission said the US had not lived up to its obligations to remove illegal subsidies in the aircraft sector, the commission said, according to the New York Times.
A spokeswoman for the US Trade Representative in Washington said the US stands by the remedies it submitted.
“We remain confident that the actions we announced on September 23 have brought us into full compliance with our WTO obligations,” said Nkenge Harmon, US Trade Representative spokeswoman, in an email request for comment.
Harmon added that it was difficult to see how the EU could characterize the finding against the US as the “worst loss” ever.
“In looking at the EU allegation, one needs to look carefully at the WTO findings against the two sides.”
The WTO has found that the EU granted 18 billion dollars in subsidized financing, which caused 342 lost sales for the United States, Harmon said. The WTO also found 2 to 4 billion dollars, mostly in subsidized research, against the United States, with 118 lost sales for Airbus.
The EU and the US have been feuding over subsidies for Airbus and Boeing since 2004.