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    US Can Sanction EU Exports in 2017 Amid Inaction on Illegal Subsidies to Airbus

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    The US government will be in a position to sanction European Union exports to the United States in 2017, since the bloc has taken no steps to resolve the issue of illegal subsidies to Airbus, Boeing spokesman Tim Neale told Sputnik on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In September, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that Airbus had received some $22 billion in illegal subsidies from the European Union.

    The European Union is appealing the decision.

    Neale noted that EU governments have not taken any steps to address the Airbus subsidies issue.

    "Much bigger level of subsidies in the case of Airbus, and really no actions to eliminate any of those, which is why the US government could very well be pursuing sanctions next year sometime against European exports to the United States," Neale stated.

    Earlier on Monday, the WTO ruled that Boeing was illegally given some $5.7 billion in tax breaks by the US state of Washington to build its new 777X wide-body plane.

    EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom called the WTO decision an important victory for the block.

    Boeing has argued, however, that the decision is a win for the United States, since the WTO dismissed six out of seven claims in the EU challenge.

    Neale emphasized that Boeing has seen no benefit from the tax breaks to date, since the company can take advantage of the incentives after it delivers the first airplane in 2020.

    Boeing expects the European Union and Airbus to appeal WTO’s Monday ruling, according to a release issued by the company.

    "If it is appealed, which is what we think is going to happen, it will be another couple of years before it is finalized, and then we will see what comes out of that process," Neale added.

    The WTO panel has urged the state of Washington to withdraw the subsidies for Boeing within 90 days.

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