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WTO: US subsidies to Boeing illegal

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US subsidies to Boeing illegal

US aircraft manufacturer Boeing received at least $5.3bn (£3.3bn) in unfair aid from Washington, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has concluded.

The subsidies included money for research and development from the Nasa space agency, a panel of international trade judges has ruled. Last year the WTO said that Boeing's arch rival Airbus had received illegal aid from European governments.

The two companies have been at war over state aid for almost six years.

The case is one of the most complex ever brought before Geneva-based WTO, which has issued 2,000 pages of rulings. Both companies claimed that the WTO's latest ruling bolstered their case.

"It's time for Boeing to stop denying or minimising the massive illegal subsidies it gets," said Rainer Ohler, head of public affairs at Airbus.

But Boeing said that the WTO's ruling on the size of its aid, $5.3bn, was dwarfed by the $20bn that Airbus had received.

"This WTO ruling shatters the convenient myth that European governments must illegally subsidise Airbus to counter US government assistance to Boeing," said Michael Luttig, general counsel at Boeing.

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