US and EU agree to suspend tariffs linked to long-running Boeing-Airbus dispute

US and EU agree to suspend tariffs linked to long-running Boeing-Airbus dispute

The United States and European Union have agreed to suspend for four months all tariffs related to the long-running dispute over subsidies to Boeing and Airbus.

The suspended tariffs mark a first step toward repairing a transatlantic trade partnership that’s been strained for nearly 17 years by complaints on both sides about subsidies to the world’s leading commercial plane makers.

The tariffs affect $7.5 billion of EU exports to the United States, and $4 billion worth of US exports to the EU.

“It marks a reset in our relationship with our biggest and economically most important partner,” European Commission Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said in a statement. ” Removing these tariffs is a win-win for both sides, at a time when the pandemic is hurting our workers and our economies.”

The agreement comes a day after the United States struck a similar agreement with the United Kingdom to suspend tariffs on UK products including Scotch whisky.

The dispute dates back to 2004, when EU authorities said Boeing had received $19 billion in unfair subsidies from federal and state governments. The US government filed a similar claim that year over European subsidies to Airbus.

Last year, the feud escalated when the Trump administration imposed tariffs on European goods, including Parmesan cheese, French wine and Scotch and Irish whiskies. The EU, in turn, slapped tariffs on US goods.

Friday’s announcement was made following a phone call between the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and President Joe Biden, according to a statement from the commission.

Von der Leyen described the call as “the first of many exchanges and the start of a good personal partnership.”