Boeing Current Affairs - 2020

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WTO gives US final authorisation to impose tariffs on EU products

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has given United States the final authorisation to impose tariffs on European Union (EU) products in retaliation for illegal subsidies given to Airbus. Earlier in October 2019, a WTO arbitrator gave US the green light to slap tariffs on US $7.5 billion worth of European Union imports.

The move comes as a landmark moment in the 15-year legal battle between Airbus and American plane-maker Boeing.

Key Highlights

WTO Ruling: WTO has found that both Airbus and its United States’ rival Boeing received billions of dollars of illegal subsidies in a pair of cases that have now run for nearly 15 years. An adjudication or arbitrators award in the Boeing case is due in 2020.

The arbitrator’s award, which is the largest in WTO’s history was rubber-stamped by the Dispute Settle Body (DSB) of WTO which is made up of representatives from its 164 members. At a special meeting, the WTO’s DSB cleared US to take countermeasures against EU and Airbus-producing countries Britain, Germany, France and Spain.

Proposed Tariffs: Even though United States have stated that it will impose a 10% tariffs on Airbus planes and 25% duties on a range of products, such as French wine, Scottish whiskies and cheese from across the continent which could be in place by 18 October 2019, but the EU officials are trying to reach a negotiated settlement with US so as to avoid escalating trade tensions that risk battering economies across the globe.

Parallel Dispute Over Subsidies: However, in case the negotiations fail to produce a deal, then EU will get the chance to impose its own WTO-approved tariffs on billions of dollars of U.S. exports, after convincing WTO judges that Boeing had benefited from illegal US government subsidies for domination of the world aircraft market.

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AAI signs pact with Boeing to modernise India’s Air Traffic Management

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) signed a technical assistance agreement with Boeing to develop and modernise India’s Air Traffic Management.

Key Highlights

  • Roadmap: Aerospace major Boeing entered into a technical assistance pact with AAI to jointly develop a comprehensive 10-year roadmap for modernising air traffic management in India. It is expected to be developed within 1.5 years (18 months).
  • The roadmap will be undertaken with a grant from the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).
  • The roadmap so developed by Boeing will be used as guidance in the modernisation of the Indian National Airspace System (NAS). It will be based on global and local best practices of optimally utilising airspace capacity, enhancing communications and also investing in surveillance, navigation and air traffic management.
  • Boeing will also analyse current technologies and processes to identify efficiency improvements that can be implemented in project undertaken at the same time maintaining a practical and safe airspace system.
  • Collaboration: As part of the project Boeing will work closely with Directorate General of Civil Aviation (Indian aviation regulator), airlines operating in India, airport operators and other airspace stakeholders like US-India Aviation Cooperation Program (ACP).
  • Significance: Airports Authority of India (AAI) owns and manages around 125 airports across India thus implementation of modern technologies and adoption of global practices will allow India to increase its airspace capacity significantly. It will improve communications, enable flexible use of airspace in country and will also allow safe processing of additional flights using air navigation infrastructure for more efficient skies in India.

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