Boeing confident WTO subsidy ruling will be reversed

GENEVA, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Boeing Co claimed the upper hand on Monday after the World Trade Organization rejected all but one complaints by the European Union against tax breaks for its 777X jetliner, and predicted the WTO’s ruling that the remaining measure was a “prohibited subsidy” would be reversed on appeal.

“In total, the EU claimed that Boeing had received $8.7 billion in subsidies. This claim was rejected by the WTO, which found future incentives totalling no more than $50 million a year to be impermissible,” Boeing said in a statement.

“The WTO found that to date Boeing has received no benefit from the 777X (tax) rate incentive, and will not until 2020, because the first airplane will not be delivered until then.”

Both sides have the right to appeal the ruling.

“After any appeal, we fully expect Boeing to preserve every aspect of the Washington state incentives, including the 777X revenue tax rate,” Michael Luttig, Boeing’s general counsel, said in the statement.

Boeing’s external legal adviser, Robert Novick, co-managing partner of law firm WilmerHale, said the WTO appellate body frequently reverses prohibited subsidy findings. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Bate Felix)