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USA and EU droop tariffs with the intention to settle the Boeing-Airbus subsidy dispute

Boeing and Airbus meet at the Paris Air Show 2013.

Fabrice Dimier | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The US and the European Union will suspend tariffs for four months in a long-standing dispute over illegal subsidies for Boeing and Airbus, the President of the European Commission said on Friday.

The deal is a step towards resolving the 17-year dispute that has resulted in retaliatory tariffs on billions of dollars in goods affecting a number of exports from both sides of the Atlantic. It comes a day after the US and UK also agreed a four-month hiatus on tariffs linked to the dispute.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she spoke to US President Joe Biden about the issue on Friday.

The move would remove tariffs on goods imported from the European Union worth $ 7.5 billion, including airplanes, cheese and wine, and tariffs on EU imports of US airplanes, tractors, vodka and rum, and tobacco Interrupt worth $ 4 billion.

“We are both committed to focusing on resolving our aircraft disputes based on the work of our respective sales agents,” she said in a statement. “This is excellent news for companies and industries on both sides of the Atlantic and a very positive signal for our economic cooperation in the years to come.”

The White House said Biden and von der Leyen were discussing transatlantic cooperation to stop the spread of Covid-19, measures to improve the economy, climate change and other issues.

Progress in settling the dispute is a relief for Airbus and Boeing, both of which are grappling with weak demand for travel and jetliners due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Airbus welcomes the decision to suspend tariffs so that negotiations can take place,” the manufacturer said in a statement. “We support all necessary measures to create a level playing field and continue to support a negotiated solution to this long-standing dispute in order to avoid losses.”

Correction: The move would suspend tariffs on EU imports of US planes, tractors, vodka and rum, and tobacco worth $ 4 billion. In an earlier version it was incorrectly stated what the obligations were for.

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