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Boeing, Airbus Both Claim Victory After WTO Ruling

The Geneva-based World Trade Organization (WTO) on Monday handed down its report on a complaint filed by the European Union (EU) related to incentives granted to Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) by the state of Washington in November of 2013 that resulted in Boeing’s decision to build an assembly plant for its new 777X commercial jet in the state. The WTO ruled Monday that the certain tax incentives offered by the state of Washington were illegal subsidies under WTO agreements.

In mid-November 2013, the Washington legislature approved a package of incentives worth about $8.7 billion and promised another $10 billion in infrastructure improvements if Boeing would locate the new plant in the state. A week later the IAM rejected Boeing’s contract extension offer. Boeing immediately got offers from 22 states and at least one foreign country to bring the plant to a more business-friendly location.

After a second round of union voting, a new contract extension was approved and Boeing broke ground on its new plant in Everett, Washington, in 2014. The EU filed its complaint with the WTO in early 2015.

In a statement cited at Leeham News, Boeing’s general counsel called the WTO ruling “a complete...


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