Authorities in the United States and the European Union have agreed to end a long-running trade dispute over the aerospace concerns Boeing and Airbus, which has resulted in mutual tariffs of more than $ 10 billion, said Catherine Ty, the US representative at the trade talks.
“The US-EU agreement marks significant progress in reaching a long-term solution to this 16-year dispute,” she said.
French Minister of Economy, Finance and Reconstruction Bruno Le Mer has already welcomed the agreement. According to him, “this is a good deal.” And the French Foreign Ministry’s delegate, Frank Rister, who oversees foreign trade, said it was “great news for French and European companies.”
Bloomberg was the first to report on the agreements, citing EU officials. According to him, the agreement is due to growing awareness among politicians in Brussels and Washington that the state-funded Chinese Commercial Aviation Corporation (COMAC) could become a full-fledged competitor to Boeing and Airbus by the end of the decade and weaken their positions in the aircraft industry.
According to Bloomberg, the EU-US summit is also planned to reach an agreement on the abolition of tariffs on steel and aluminum, introduced by Washington in 2018 “for reasons of national security.”
The trade dispute between Brussels and Washington over Boeing and Airbus is one of the longest and largest in the history of the World Trade Organization. The United States has accused the EU of illegally subsidizing Airbus since 2004. And the EU has made similar accusations against Washington about Boeing.
In 2019, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body recognized a violation of the organization’s rules in the Airbus case, which gave the United States the right to impose duties. However, in 2020, a similar decision was made in favor of the EU in the Boeing case. In fact, the WTO has acknowledged that both sides are violating international trade rules within the organization, creating preferences for their aircraft manufacturers.
In October 2019, the administration of Donald Trump, then President of the United States, imposed a 25 percent tariff on goods from EU countries totaling approximately $ 7.5 billion. On November 9, 2020, the European Union responded to this step by introducing its tariffs on agricultural and industrial goods from the United States totaling € 3.4 billion (about $ 4 billion) per year.
However, in March, EC President Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden agreed to freeze reciprocal tariffs for four months.
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