WTO decision on Airbus launch aid – Joint communiqué issued by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Bruno Le Maire & Elisabeth Borne (15 May 2018)

Communiqué issued by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, and the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Ministry of Transport

The Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has just issued its decision on the dispute brought by the United States in 2004 concerning launch aid to Airbus by France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom (DS316).

France takes note of this decision, which rejects a large majority of the American allegations concerning subsidies to Airbus and definitively confirms that such assistance is not prohibited under WTO rules. The Appellate Body also recognizes that the European Union is complying with a very large majority of the recommendations formulated by the WTO in 2011.

As for the few points that remain to be resolved, in conjunction with the European Commission, France – which fully believes in respecting international trade rules – confirms its intention to abide by its international commitments by adopting new compliance measures in the near future.

This dispute must be balanced against the one brought before the WTO in 2005 by the EU focusing on various American tax measures and research subsidies that directly benefited Boeing (DS353). Previous WTO decisions in this case confirmed the US government’s massive ongoing support for Boeing aircraft. France will pay close attention to the Appellate Body’s decision in 2019 that will determine whether the United States has taken adequate measures to comply with the decision condemning it in 2012.

France reaffirms its commitment to the WTO’s rules, which facilitate the upholding of the rule of law and the multilateral resolution of trade disputes.