USA bulldozes European WTO appeal – and sets out its own

London
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European Union protests against the World Trade Organisation's findings on Airbus support "do not achieve the EU goal of making the subsidies disappear", the USA insists.

At an appeal hearing, the USA accused the EU of "chipping away at the amount of money that is attributed to Airbus aircraft, without even attempting to challenge the fact that they are subsidies". And it detailed its own appeal against the WTO verdict, alleging that the trade body had made a "legal error" in deeming "subjective motivation" a requirement of export-related subsidies.

The USA also set out the more obscure argument that a proper legal standard had not been established for "evaluating whether a collection of facts demonstrates the existence of a measure subject to WTO challenge". It considers this a basic error: "It took only 42 paragraphs for the United States to explain the problem and the solution. The European Union responded with 167 paragraphs. All of it is wrong."

Critiquing the EU's appeal, the USA says the WTO subsidies agreement does not exempt non-recurring subsidies granted previously, and that Airbus reorganisations between 1989 and 2006 "did nothing to change the benefit conferred by past and continued access to all of these subsidies".