The trade dispute between the European Union and the United States is receding. New US President Joe Biden has agreed with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to suspend some punitive tariffs. These agreements were mutually enforced in an ongoing dispute over subsidies to aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing and are now on hold for four months. Von der Leyen and Biden announced the agreement on Friday evening. A similar match was announced between the United States and the United Kingdom on Thursday. The European Union and the United States issued a joint statement stressing the need to address “trade distortions” by countries such as China.
For the European Union, the agreement means “a new beginning in our relationship with our biggest and most important economic partner,” as Trade Commissioner Valdes Dombrowskis emphasized. The conflict over aircraft has been escalating for 16 years and has fought hard in World Trade Organization measures. The United States and the European Union have accused each other of illegally supporting Airbus and Boeing in billions, thus giving companies a competitive advantage.
The United States imposed punitive tariffs on goods from the European Union totaling $ 7.5 billion in this regard. The European Union’s retaliatory tariffs, in turn, affect US imports totaling $ 4 billion. The measures went into effect a few days after Biden won the election in November. German Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier blamed Biden’s predecessor in office, Donald Trump, for the fact that no agreement was possible yet. Europeans put their hopes in the new president of the United States – and they have now succeeded.
“Profit for both sides”
After a phone call with Biden, von der Leyen was extremely optimistic about the agreement. “This is excellent news for companies and industries on both sides of the Atlantic,” the commission president said. “Eliminating these tariffs means mutual benefit at a time when the epidemic is affecting our workers and our economies,” Dombrovskis added. The US presidential office confirmed the customs duties would be suspended. She said Biden and von der Leyen have agreed to work on a solution to the World Trade Organization dispute. Federal Economy Minister Altmire spoke of “a hopeful sign in transatlantic relations”.
Biden’s predecessor, Trump’s government, imposed new punitive tariffs in the dispute between Airbus and Boeing in their final days in office in January. Trump has taken a very strict course in trade policy, targeting China as well as the Europeans. The dispute with the European Union has been implemented in several areas. Trump also imposed punitive tariffs on European imports of aluminum and steel. However, the special fees on cars, which he feared especially in Germany, did not happen. (Reuters)