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WTO backs Boeing vs EU in Washington state incentives case

An engine and part of a wing from the 100th 787 Dreamliner

The appellate body of the World Trade Organization has rejected claims by the European Union against tax incentives provided by Washington state to Boeing. | AP file photo

GENEVA — The appellate body of the World Trade Organization has rejected claims by the European Union against tax incentives provided by Washington state to Boeing, handing a victory to the U.S. plane maker.

The WTO ruling overturns an earlier finding saying Boeing Co. received illegal tax breaks from Washington state, advising the federal government to take action to end that support.

The Chicago-based company and the EU, which backs Boeing’s key rival Airbus, both claimed the WTO ruling in November as a victory in a longstanding battle for contracts between the two aerospace giants.

The ruling announced Monday finds that none of the tax incentives provided by Washington state were illegal. It now goes to the WTO’s dispute settlement body for formal adoption within 20 days.