Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 May 2010
World Trade Organization (WTO) rules do not require that local remedies be exhausted before a complaint can be brought before the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB). Nevertheless it may be interesting to ponder whether it would be possible, or have been possible at an appropriate moment, for Boeing, or one of its subsidiaries, to bring a complaint with the European Community (EC) Commission alleging the granting of incompatible state aid by EC member states. To answer this question, it is necessary to discuss the relevant EC state aid rules. In addition, it will also be interesting to see whether the EC Commission has ever taken any action against individual state measures granting aid to the Airbus companies or one of its subsidiaries or suppliers. These rules will be described in the second section of this chapter.
The analysis of the compatibility of state aid measures normally can be properly undertaken only if we have a thorough knowledge of the company structure of Boeing; in particular, we want to know whether Boeing has subsidiaries or important suppliers in the EC (this seems likely). The following quote from the front page of Boeing's Web site illustrates this point:
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., Boeing employs more than 155,000 people in some 67 countries. This represents one of the most diverse, talented and innovative workforces anywhere. More than 83,800 of our people hold college degrees – including nearly 29,000 advanced degrees – in virtually every business and technical field from approximately 2,800 colleges and universities worldwide. […]