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WTO body formally OKs U.S. sanctions against European Union in Airbus case

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An Airbus A350-1000 conducts a test flight in France in February.
(Guillaume Souvant / AFP / Getty Images)

The World Trade Organization has formally given the go-ahead for the United States to impose trade sanctions on up to $7.5 billion worth of European Union goods following a ruling that European plane maker Airbus received illegal subsidies.

The move by the trade body’s dispute settlement body was largely a formality after the long-awaited Oct. 2 ruling by a WTO arbitration panel. For that ruling to be blocked, every country including the United States that attended the settlement body’s meeting Monday would have had to reject it.

The record $7.5-billion ruling found that the European bloc and member states Britain, France, Germany and Spain failed to remove improper subsidies for Airbus that hindered sales by U.S. rival Boeing.

The Trump administration plans to impose the sanctions starting Friday.


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