The US and EU have agreed to a four month suspension of some tariffs that each had previously imposed on one another as punishment for subsidies given to rival aircraft giants, Airbus and Boeing.
The mutually-agreed pause aims to kickstart a final trade settlement that will be concluded on more amicable terms. The temporary pause will have a major impact on billions of dollars’ worth of goods that include aircraft, wine, and foodstuffs.
The move marks a “fresh start” in trade relations between the US and its European partners. According to a statement from the White House, President Joe Biden “underscored his support for the European Union and his commitment to repair and revitalize the US-EU partnership.”
The EU’s Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis explained that “removing these tariffs is a win-win for both sides at a time when the pandemic is hurting our workers and our economies.”
The tariffs had been authorized by the WHO in 2019, due to two parallel disputes concerning subsidies given to Airbus and Boeing. This led the US to slap Brussels with a $7.5 billion tariff on European products, which was later countered by the EU’s imposition of $4 billion worth of duties on American goods.
In an attempt to rebuild the decades-old close relations between Washington and Brussels, which had hit historic lows under the isolationist policies of Donald Trump, President Biden has agreed to take a new approach to the issue.