WTO: Airbus ruling 'brings threat of EU-US trade war'

(The Week, London, 23 September 2016) French aircraft-maker Airbus has benefitted from as much as $22bn (£17bn) in illegal state aid from EU member states, including £3bn from the UK, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has ruled. The judgement marks the latest chapter in what the BBC brands the world's "largest and longest-running trade dispute". It will not by any means be the last. On its own, the ruling has the potential to trigger a "trade war between the United States and the European Union", says The Times. The WTO says the EU has failed to comply with as many as 34 diktats designed to prevent governments subsidising Airbus at the cost of competition - and to the ultimate detriment of its big US rival, Boeing. A UK SFO (Serious Fraud Office investigation centres on "irregularities" in the use of third-party intermediaries on export deals underwritten by the UK, France and Germany through so-called "export credits".