Brussels, Mar 5 (efe-epa).- The European Union and the United States will suspend the reciprocal tariffs imposed in connection with their long-running battle at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over what each side contends are the other’s unlawful subsidies to aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing, respectively.
The truce was announced Friday by Ursula von der Leyen, head of the EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, following her first telephone conversation with US President Joe Biden since he took office Jan. 20.
“I was glad to speak to President Biden this afternoon – the first of many exchanges and the start of a good personal partnership,” the former German defense minister said in a statement.
“As a symbol of this fresh start, President Biden and I agreed to suspend all our tariffs imposed in the context of the Airbus-Boeing disputes, both on aircraft and non-aircraft products, for an initial period of 4 months. We both committed to focus on resolving our aircraft disputes,” she said.
The tariff truce “is excellent news for businesses and industries on both sides of the Atlantic, and a very positive signal for our economic cooperation in the years to come,” Von der Leyen said.
In 2019, a WTO panel agreed with the US that illegal subsidies from European governments gave Airbus an unfair advantage over Boeing.
The administration of then-President Donald Trump levied tariffs on roughly $7.5 billion in exports from the EU and the United Kingdom, which exited the European bloc but remains home to Airbus manufacturing plants.
The EU filed their own complaint with the WTO contending that the US government provides de-facto subsidies to Boeing in the form of lucrative Defense Department contracts.
Brussels also imposed retaliatory tariffs on US products. EFE jug/dr