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WTO Issues Boeing Ruling
Wednesday, 15-Sep-2010 4:05PM United Press International
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Trade Representative's office Wednesday said the World Trade Organization has issued a ruling on U.S. subsidies for Boeing but released no details.

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"We can confirm that we have received the confidential interim report from the WTO panel hearing the European Union's challenge to alleged U.S. subsidies to Boeing", the Trade Representative's office said in a statement.

The WTO ruled on complaints from European competitors that Boeing was given an unfair advantage by receiving $17 billion in research grants from the Department of Defense and NASA.

"This dispute has proven to be one of the most complex and lengthy disputes under the WTO", the statement said. "As the interim report is confidential, we cannot discuss the contents."

The BBC reported the WTO ruled Boeing should return billions of dollars in federal tax breaks.

Earlier this year, the WTO made a similar ruling concerning aid that the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. received from the European Union.

The EU is appealing that ruling, which involves subsidies for production of the A380 plane made by Airbus, which is owned by EADS.

In a statement released before the WTO ruling, Boeing said the federal funds for research did not have "the market-distorting impact of launch aid nor even approach the sheer scale of European subsidy practices."

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