EU asks $12 bn in sanctions against US on Boeing subsidy case

The European Union (EU) is seeking World Trade Organisation (WTO) to impose annual sanctions up to $12 billion on the United States, as part of its eight-year long dispute over illegal subsidies given to US aircraft giant Boeing Inc and its arch European rival Airbus.

The EU request is the largest penalty ever called for in WTO's history and has been triggered by the US government's failure to adhere to the WTO's March verdict to halt all illegal subsidies to Boeing.

In a release, WTO said that the EU notified WTO of its intention to request the dispute settlement body (DSB) to grant authorisation ''to take countermeasures'' against the US for an approximate value of $12 billion annually because of the US failure to withdraw subsidies involving large civil aircraft.

The EU intends to place this request on the agenda of the regular DSB meeting scheduled on 23 October.

"This follows the EU's assessment that the United States had not lived up to its obligation to remove its illegal subsidies in the aircraft sector, as required by the WTO rulings that clearly condemned US subsidies to Boeing," the EU said in a statement yesterday.

''The figure of $12 billion was "based on estimates of the damage suffered by the EU due to unfair and biased competition from the US industry", it further stated.