The World Trade Organization has said the European Union wants billions of euros from the US in return for what it calls illegal subsidies. It believes Boeing has been unfairly supported for years on end.
The European Union (EU) is seeking a total of $12 billion (9.3 billion euros) in annual sanctions from the US as part of a long-running dispute over what it claims are illegal subsidies for Airbus' main rival, Boeing, the World Trade Organization (WTO) confirmed on Thursday.
The WTO said in a statement it had received an official request from the EU to approve what would be the most costly sanctions ever in a trade dispute.
Brussels claimed among other things that without lavish US subsidies the American plane maker would never have been able to introduce its new long-distance passenger jet B787 amid a very difficult market environment.
The EU's move followed a US assertion last Sunday that the subsidies for Boeing were in full compliance of WTO rulings. However, the World Trade Organization had found in March that US state and government institutions had aided Boeing with several billion dollars worth of illegal injections.
The EU and the US have been feuding over illegal financial support for their aircraft makers since 2004. Washington for its part has accused Airbus of receiving huge sums in unjustified subsidies, notably for the production of its A350 passenger plane.
The WTO is now requested to look into the matter again, with arbitration proceeding likely to mark the next round in the protracted dispute.
hg/pfd (dapd, dpa)