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European State Aid and W.T.O. Subsidies

Volume 3 No 9    /    Read Article

By Alev Fanny Karaman, Stanley C. Ruchelman and Astrid Champion

Recent European Commission rulings have attacked tax rulings granted by Ireland and the Netherlands to Apple and Starbucks, respectively. These rulings are not meaningfully different from those granted for decades by various E.U. Member States. To the shock of these countries, the tax rulings distorted trade. At the same time, the World Trade Organization (“W.T.O.”) determined that several E.U. Member States have granted actionable subsidies to Airbus in order to assist the company in a way that distorts trade among W.T.O. members. Fanny Karaman, Stanley C. Ruchelman, and Astrid Champion explain (i) the basic internal procedures within the E.U. that outlaw State Aid and (ii) the applicable provisions of the global trade agreement embodied in the W.T.O. in connection with actionable subsidies. In light of the W.T.O. ruling, the question to be answered is whether the E.U. is being disingenuous by not recovering the European subsidies given to Airbus.    See more →