World Trade Organization: EU can sanction up to $4 billion in U.S. goods over illegal Boeing support

Boeing 737 Max airplanes are stored in an area adjacent to Boeing Field in Seattle.
(Stephen Brashear / Getty Images)

World Trade Organization arbitrators said Tuesday that the European Union can sanction up to $4 billion in U.S. goods over Washington’s illegal support for plane maker Boeing.

The ruling, which could inflame Trump administration criticism of the Geneva-based trade body, amounts to one of the largest penalties handed down by the WTO. It comes a year after another ruling authorized billions in penalties against the European Union over support for Boeing rival Airbus.

The decision, which is final and cannot be appealed, dates back to 2006 and is part of a string of long-running disputes between the two plane-making giants at the Geneva trade body.


The arbitrators were tasked with setting a dollar value in sanctions such as tariffs that the EU could impose a year after the WTO’s appellate body found that Boeing had received at least $5 billion in subsidies that were prohibited under international trade rules.

The United States had argued that the illegal support merited no more than $412 million in penalties, while the EU had countered that it deserved some $8 billion. The award in essence was 10 times more than what the U.S. had claimed, and half what the EU wanted.