US-Europe aviation subsidy dispute “truce” for four months

European Commission President Von der Lein had the first phone call with US President Biden on March 5, local time. The two sides agreed to suspend the import tariffs imposed by the Boeing and Airbus aircraft subsidy dispute for four months. CNN stated that the tariffs affected US$7.5 billion worth of EU exports to the United States and US$4 billion worth of US exports to the EU. Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on the 7th that the two parties stated in a joint statement that the key content of the negotiated solution will include restrictions on future funding for the aircraft industry and “response to the challenges posed by China”.

Since 2004, the United States and Europe have been arguing about subsidies to aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus. In 2019, under a WTO ruling, the United States imposed tariffs on imported products such as aircraft and aircraft parts from Europe, French and German wines and jams, and Spanish olives. The European Union imposed tariffs on US$4 billion worth of American products in November last year, including aircraft and parts, as well as tobacco, fitness equipment, tractors and other products.

However, many media have expressed doubts about whether the European and American trade disputes will be completely eliminated. The German weekly “Focus” stated that there are still many disputes between Europe and the United States. The European Union and its member states are formulating plans to set special taxes on digital companies: mainly for American technology giants such as Apple and Google. Germany and other countries also expressed dissatisfaction with the US sanctions on companies participating in Russia’s “North Stream 2” natural gas pipeline project. Some media believe that the Biden administration, like the Trump administration, promotes trade protectionism, and that there will be more disputes between the two sides in the future.

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