The famous World Trade Organization dispute than found both sides of the Atlantic needed to clean up their government support to their airframe manufacturers has resulted in positive changes in procedures and behavior. Airbus and Europe reported today that they are now fully compliant with the recommendations and rulings following the May 2011 WTO appellate decision.
That decision, while confirming that subsidies and government support to Airbus did not cause material injury to Boeing, did cite the need for changes in European policies. The changes have now been implemented, and the WTO is expected to publicly disclose information regarding those changes later as a part of wrapping up the dispute.
The judgment on the case against Boeing is expected from the appellate process early next year, and expectations are for perhaps more difficult changes facing the US parties at that time. Let’s hope that the rulings are clear, Boeing can also quickly act on then, and that this topic can finally be put behind us, once and for all.
The dispute resolution process is working, and changes as a result of the WTO actions have been, and will shortly be, implemented for the two major players, just as they have with Embraer and Bombardier concerning regional jets. Boeing’s turn will arrive early next year, and will hopefully end this saga, with everyone back on a level playing field.