US And EU Agree To Suspend Aircraft Tariffs For Four Months

The United States and the European Union agreed this week to suspend all retaliatory tariffs exports between the two imposed in the Airbus and Boeing disputes for a period of four months. This move will allow both parties to concentrate on resolving the ongoing trade dispute between the pair.

Airbus A321
The World Trade Organization (WTO) has backed different sides at different times in the dispute, which dates back all the way to 2004. Photo: Airbus

Back and forth

In October 2019, the US was given the approval to impose additional duties on approximately $7.5 billion in EU products as a result of the World Trade Organization Large Civil Aircraft litigation. Moreover, in September 2020 the EU was authorized to impose tariffs affecting $4 billion in US trade against US subsidies to Boeing.

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A series of other counters were made along the way. Nonetheless, with a breakthrough in talks this month, the European Commission shares that the suspension offers an important boost to exporters.

After a call with US president Joe Biden on March 5th, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, shared the following on her Twitter:

“As a fresh start for our Flag of European UnionFlag of United States partnership we agreed to suspend all tariffs related to the Airbus-Boeing disputes on aircraft & non-aircraft products for an initial period of 4 months. We also committed to solving these disputes.”

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The dispute escalated back in 2018 when the Appellate Body found that the EU and its members had not fully complied with previous The World Trade Organization (WTO) rulings with regard to EU subsidies to Airbus. Photo: Getty Images

On the right track

Meanwhile, European Commission EVP and Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, added the following, according to a statement seen by Simple Flying.

“This is a significant step forward. It marks a reset in our relationship with our biggest and economically most important partner. Removing these tariffs is a win-win for both sides, at a time when the pandemic is hurting our workers and our economies. This suspension will help restore confidence and trust, and therefore give us the space to come to a comprehensive and long-lasting negotiated solution. A positive EU-U.S. trade relationship is important not only to the two sides but to global trade at large.”

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In March 2019, the Appellate Body confirmed that the US had not taken appropriate action to comply with WTO rules on subsidies to Boeing. Photo: Getty Images

Some light at the end of the tunnel

Altogether, we reported last month that France was discussing solutions with the US to find a solution to these tariffs. Furthermore, the US has also agreed to drop UK tariffs in the Airbus-Boeing dispute. So, fortunately, there is now progress when it comes to ending this saga.

A Boeing spokesperson told Simple Flying the following:

“We appreciate the immediate attention the U.S. government has brought to this long-running trade dispute. We welcome this step by the EU and the U.S. government and hope it will allow for productive negotiations to finally resolve this dispute and bring a level playing field to this industry.”

Simple Flying also reached out to Airbus for comment on these reports. We will update the article with any further announcements from the company.

What are your thoughts about the United States and the European Union agreeing to suspend tariffs in the Airbus and Boeing dispute? Do you feel that this is a good move by both parties? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.