The Economist has an article about how the Chinese are planning to develop aircraft to compete with Airbus and Boeing. The article noties:
Although Boeing huffs and puffs about ensuring that China sticks to WTO rules banning market-distorting subsidies, both it and Airbus are studiously polite about the prospect of a new rival. Boeing says that competition has always been good for the business, and an Airbus spokesman describes it as “a natural ambition” for a country of China's size to make big jets.
My first point is a bit nit-picky, but I'm going to make it anyway. I know that you need to use short-hand when writing these kinds of articles, but isn't saying that WTO rules ban "market-distorting" subsidies a bit of an exaggeration? Obviously they can't flesh out the entire SCM Agreement here, but perhaps "trade-distorting" would be more accurate. If the rules banned "market-distorting" subsidies, wouldn't that prohibit just about all subsidies?
Aside from that, I found the part about Airbus and Boeing being "polite" in the face of potential Chinese competition to be interesting. Are they really going to let this happen without a trade fight? I would not have thought so, especially given their experience with trade litigation. On the other hand, one reason the answer could be yes is provided in the final paragraph of the piece:
... manufacturing big commercial aircraft has ceased to be a national enterprise. Boeing and Airbus increasingly rely on global supply chains and risk-sharing partners, some of which are involved from the design stage to produce not just components, but entire sections of planes.
It may be that in the future, just about every country will have a stake in producing all of the big aircraft, meaning there will be nobody to bring a complaint.