A ruling by the World Trade Organization has found that Boeing Co received illegal aid from the US government agencies, European government officials have said. With an earlier WTO ruling going against the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, European officials once again called for a negotiated settlement to a bitter battle with the US over aircraft subsidies.
Both the US and the EU filed charges related to illegal subsidies against each other at the WTO after the former US president George W Bush unilaterally walked out of a 1992 aircraft-aid accord with the EU.
A WTO ruling can invite sanctions against countries that fail to comply with its rulings.
The confidential panel ruling ''condemns the massive subsidies received by Boeing which violate WTO rules,'' French transport minister Dominique Bussereau said in a statement.
The European Commission, the 27-nation EU's trade authority in Brussels, called the verdict a ''very good result.''
The report follows hard on the heels of a WTO decision in June that Airbus SAS received aid worth billions of euros from low-interest government loans to develop planes, including the A380 superjumbo. Now, with both sides held at fault for breaking rules, the verdict increases the chances of a negotiated settlement over the issue of aid to plane manufacturers.