Boeing Statement on WTO Ruling

Watch video 01:10  Back from the brink Emirates order rescues Airbus jet

Watch video 01:10 Back from the brink Emirates order rescues Airbus jet

The World Trade Organization's Appellate Body ruled Tuesday that the European Union continued providing illegal subsidies to aircraft giant Airbus in defiance of an earlier WTO ruling, opening the door for the U.S.to retaliate and closing the book on a long and winding 14-year legal saga.

The U.S. and the European Union have spent more than a decade wrangling over various government efforts to help Chicago-based Boeing and Toulouse, France-based Airbus defray billions of dollars in costs to design and produce commercial aircraft.

European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem insisted that the ruling also rejected "the vast majority" of United States claims against it, while saying in a statement that the bloc "will now take swift action to ensure it is fully in line with the WTO's final decision in this case". Today's decision ends the dispute and clears the way for the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to seek remedies in the form of tariffs against European imports to the United States.

"The authorized tariffs are likely to total billions in duties per year, unless and until Airbus addresses the illegal subsidies it received from European governments for its most recently launched airplanes", the company said in a statement. The WTO will determine the size and scope of the tariffs based on the harm suffered by the U.S.

Boeing said that the tariffs could start in 2019 and could be the largest-ever WTO authorization of retaliatory tariffs.

"Today's final ruling sends a clear message: Disregard for the rules and illegal subsidies is not tolerated", Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, said in a statement.

Mr. Enders of Airbus ratcheted up his rhetoric, accusing Boeing of relying on a "Washington state corporate welfare scheme" and insisting that the latest ruling was "only half the story - the other half coming out later this year will rule strongly on Boeing's subsidies and we'll see then where the balance lies". Where there were narrow rulings against USA practices, they have been fully addressed to the WTO's satisfaction. Full details to come.