US gave Boeing $2.6m illegal aid

The US government funnelled at least $2.6bn in illegal subsidies to aeroplane maker Boeing through the space agency Nasa for the development of Boeing's new Dreamliner aircraft, the World Trade Organisation ruled last night.

The decision is the latest in a long-running dispute in which the trade arbiter has declared both Boeing and European rival Airbus to be in breach of rules against state aid.