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Boeing Expects WTO Ruling Wednesday

The World Trade Organization is likely to rule Wednesday that Boeing received some illegal subsidies from the U.S. government, the <I>Wall Street Journal </I> reports.

Updated from 4:07 a.m. EDT with a statement from Boeing

SEATTLE (

TheStreet

) --

Boeing

(BA) - Get Boeing Company Report

expects the World Trade Organization to rule Wednesday on a complaint from the European Union over aid the company received from the U.S. government.

The

Wall Street Journal

reports the WTO is likely to rule that the aerospace giant received some illegal subsidies from the U.S.

The

Journal

report cited people familiar with the case.

The ruling would come more than a year after the WTO ruled in a similar case that

Airbus

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, a unit of European aerospace company

EADS

, had benefited from illegal European subsidies, the

Journal

says.

The ruling could level the debate with Airbus and open the door to trans-Atlantic negotiations on state support to plane makers, according to the newspaper.

The European Union alleges that Boeing benefited from about $24 billion in tax breaks and other aid from U.S. federal and state governments.

Boeing, in a statement Wednesday on its Web site, said, "We look forward to learning how the WTO has ruled in today's preliminary decision on U.S. practices, none of which have the market-distorting impact of launch aid nor even approach the sheer scale of European subsidy practices. In June, the WTO held in a case against the EU that Airbus had received illegal subsidies totaling more than $20 billion in principle. Launch aid, which represented the lion's share of the involved illegal aid (roughly $15 billion), is unique to Airbus, unparalleled within U.S. industry, and -- as the WTO has confirmed -- harmful to U.S. aerospace interests and the American worker."

Boeing continued, "We have full confidence in WTO processes and its dispute-resolution procedures. The U.S. government's actions in remedying European concerns ... demonstrate its approach to obligations under WTO findings. Likewise, we fully expect Airbus/EADS and the EU to act in the same way, making good on their end of the WTO bargain."

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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