World Trade Organization

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US following rule book over Airbus tariffs

Andrew Walker

World Service economics correspondent

Airbus Plane
Getty Images

US trade policy under President Trump has been criticised for what some see as a lack of respect for the rules and procedures of the World Trade Organization.

The tariffs on steel and aluminium and on a range of Chinese goods were seen in that light by the Trump administration’s international critics.

Whatever the merits of those arguments, this move on civil aircraft is not a case of that.

The WTO has ruled that the EU and the four governments involved in Airbus have failed to comply with an earlier ruling that they should withdraw contested subsidies and the US has asked for authorisation to retaliate to the tune of $11bn.

The US wants to act quickly when the WTO arbitrator makes a ruling. So far this action seems to be following the WTO rule book.