"(WTO) has found repeatedly that European Union (EU) subsidies to Airbus have caused adverse effects to the United States. Today, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) begins its process… to identify products of the EU to which additional duties may be applied until the EU removes those subsidies," the office said in a press release, published on its official website late on Monday.
According to the office, the EU subsidies to large civil aircraft were causing an estimated 11 billion damage in trade per year.
"Our ultimate goal is to reach an agreement with the EU to end all WTO-inconsistent subsidies to large civil aircraft. When the EU ends these harmful subsidies, the additional U.S. duties imposed in response can be lifted," US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was quoted as saying in the release.
The United States' brawl with the European Union over subsidies to Airbus, which is the long time rival of US Boeing, started back in 2004 when Washington first turned to the WTO. In 2011, the organization revealed that Airbus had received $18 billion in subsidies from the bloc in 1968-2006.
The United States insists that the subsidized financing, which is aimed at helping Airbus launch all of its models, caused drops in Boeing sales and also resulted in the loss of its market share in countries across the world.
The European Union, in turn, has been accusing the United States of providing Boeing with unfair support, including through tax concessions, as well and has also been dealing with the issue at the WTO. According to the organization, the United States, notably, gave Boeing more than $5 billion in subsidies in 1989-2006.