The EU and the US suspend the tariffs of the Boeing-Airbus dispute as a show of goodwill

The decision for "a new beginning" after the commercial squabbles with Trump comes after a call between Biden and Von der Leyen

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The European Union and the United States have decided to temporarily suspend the reciprocal tariff measures that both parties approved in recent years within the framework of the Airbus and Boeing debate. This was announced this afternoon by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, after a phone call with the president Joe Biden. “It was a pleasure talking to him this afternoon, the first of many exchanges and the beginning of a good personal relationship. As a symbol of this beginning, President Biden and I have agreed to suspend all tariffs imposed in the context of the dispute between Boeing and Airbus, both those that affect aviation products and those that do not. It will be for an initial period of four months, “said the German.

Last October, the World Consumer Organization authorized the EU to up to $ 4 billion annually in tariff countermeasures such as compensation for subsidies received by Boeing between September 2012 and September 2015, and which have led to significant losses for companies such as Airbus. Likewise, last year the own WTO authorized Washington to impose tariffs totaling $ 7.5 billion (about 6,400 million euros) to products imported from Europe in retaliation for the aid to Airbus.

The lawsuit between Brussels and Washington, Boeing and Airbus, goes a long way. Both blocks have given important aid to large manufacturers, directly and indirectly since the beginning of the 90s of the last century. For three decades there were no problems, but in 2004 there was a schism and they have not been able to bury the hatchet since then. In the years covered by the opinion, Airbus lost three major aircraft sales and came under heavy lockdown pressure to the importation of its aircraft to the US market and to that of some allies. Brussels had asked for more than $ 8 billion a year in compensation, and Washington estimated that a more realistic figure would be $ 400 million a year.

“We are both committed to focusing on resolving our aircraft disputes based on the work of our respective commercial representatives. This is excellent news for businesses and industries on both sides of the Atlantic and a very positive sign. for our economic cooperation in the coming years “, explains the statement issued in Brussels. “This is an important step forward. It marks a reboot in our relationship with our largest and most economically important partner. The removal of these tariffs is win-win for both parties and more so at a time when the pandemic is on. “Harming our workers and our economies. This suspension will help restore confidence and, therefore, will give us the space to reach a comprehensive and lasting negotiated solution”, Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for Community Trade.

Just yesterday, the US did the same with the UK, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative. The United Kingdom stopped applying tariffs to the United States as of January 1 after its departure from the European Union to “create a negotiated space for a settlement for Airbus and Boeing disputes.” And yesterday Washington accepted the outstretched hand.

During the call, Von der Leyen and Biden also spoke of “the many challenges shared as allies”, starting with Covid19 and vaccination campaigns. The German has invited the American to the Global Health Summit to be held in Rome on May 21.

Both leaders have also spoken about climate change, celebrating the return of the US to the Paris Agreement. And they have agreed on something very unusual in the EU: the presence of John Kerry, the US head for Climate Change, at the next College of EU Commissioners, the weekly meeting of the representatives of the 27.

NATO, Russia and Ukraine were also on the phone call agenda, according to the summary provided by the Commission.

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