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News ID: 47074
Publish Date: 19:07 - 24 July 2020
Friday, 24 July 2020 _The EU has called on the United States to lift tariffs imposed in a long-running dispute over aircraft subsidies after Airbus said it had brought itself into compliance with World Trade Organization rulings.

EU calls on US to lift tariffs in plane disputeThe billions of dollars in tariffs, which apply to a wide range of food and agricultural goods in addition to planes, have been even more burdensome due to the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Airbus said Friday it had reached an agreement with the French and Spanish governments that raises the interest rates on funds provided to help develop its long-haul A350 jet to levels the WTO considers appropriate.

The European Commission said this removes any grounds for the US to maintain tariffs imposed on EU exports under WTO rulings as well as making a strong case for a rapid settlement of the dispute.

"Unjustified tariffs on European products are not acceptable and, arising from the compliance in the Airbus case, we insist that the United States lifts these unjustified tariffs immediately," EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan said in a statement on Friday.

Epic legal battle

An epic legal battle between Airbus and Boeing at the WTO began in 2004 when Washington accused Britain, France, Germany and Spain of providing illegal subsidies and grants to support the production of a range of Airbus products.

A year later, the EU alleged that Boeing had received $19.1 billion worth of prohibited subsidies from 1989 to 2006 from various branches of the US government.

The two cases were then tangled up in a legal quagmire, with each side being given partial vindication after a long series of appeals and counter-appeals.

In 2019, the WTO authorized the US to impose up to 100 percent in taxes on $7.5 billion of European goods, its biggest ever penalty.

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