US to refrain from imposing further tariffs on EU aircraft

written by Hannah Dowling | February 12, 2021
An artist's impression of the Boeing777-9X and 777-8X. (Boeing)
An artist’s impression of the Boeing777-9X and 777-8X. (Boeing)

The US Trade Representative’s office said on Thursday that it had agreed with US industry not to impose additional tariffs on imported EU goods, a first step in efforts to dissolve a 17-year dispute over trans-Atlantic aircraft trade.

The European Union acknowledged the decision not to increase current tariffs, and reiterated again for the third time in as many weeks that it was ready to conduct negotiations to resolve trade disputes that have heavily impacted both local aerospace manufacturing sectors.

A spokesman for the EU said on Thursday: “The EU is ready to engage with the new US administration on the basis of the EU-US agenda for global change we adopted on December 2.

“Our aim is to find solutions to our ongoing trade disputes, including on Airbus/Boeing.”

It comes just one day after the USTR similarly stated that it looked forward to working with its European counterparts to dissolve the trade disputes, once an ambassador for the agency is formally appointed.

The EU continues to be optimistic that the new Biden administration will work with them to improve trans-Atlantic commercial relations, which were further damaged under former president Donald Trump.

Earlier this week, officials from the UK and European Union urged the US government to assist in resolving the near-two decade-long dispute over trans-Atlantic trade of metals and aircraft, with European Union ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis stating the matter had gone on for far too long.

Lambrinidis also suggested that by prolonging the dispute, products from China will likely soon begin flooding the global aircraft market, which would pose a threat to both European and US industries.

Brussels had also earlier proposed a six-month suspension of tariffs on both sides to allow for negotiations to take place.

The UK, notably no longer a part of the EU, though still included in the Airbus consortium, has also said it is willing to temporarily lift tariffs, perhaps even if the US does not reciprocate, as a gesture of goodwill.

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