EU, U.S. agree to suspend tariffs over Airbus-Boeing disputes

BRUSSELS, March 5 (Xinhua) — The European Union (EU) and the United States have agreed to suspend the tariffs imposed over the Airbus-Boeing disputes, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday after a phone call with U.S. President Joe Biden.

The two leaders agreed to suspend the tariffs, both on aircraft and non-aircraft products, for an initial period of four months, von der Leyen said in a statement.

“We both committed to focusing on resolving our aircraft disputes,” she said. “This 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.”

The EU put in place countermeasures against the U.S. exports by slapping tariffs on U.S. products worth 4 billion U.S. dollars last November, after the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) authorized the EU to take countermeasures against “illegal subsidies” granted to the U.S. aircraft maker Boeing.

In October 2019, following a similar WTO decision in a parallel case on Airbus subsidies, Washington started to impose retaliatory duties that would affect EU exports worth 7.5 billion dollars, and the duties remained even after European governments took decisions to ensure full compliance with WTO rules and removed the grounds for the U.S. to maintain the tariffs in July 2020.

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