By Laurence NormanYuka Hayashi and Doug Cameron 

The U.S. and the European Union have agreed to suspend for four months all tariffs imposed in the trade dispute over subsidies to Airbus SE and Boeing Co., European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

Ms. von der Leyen said Friday that the two sides would work to fully resolve the yearslong dispute. The Commission president said the joint decision was a symbol of a fresh start for the trans-Atlantic relationship.

Ms. von der Leyen said she had spoken to President Biden earlier Friday. "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," she said.

The White House put out a statement shortly after the EU announcement. "Noting our shared values and the world's largest trade and investment relationship, the leaders agreed to suspend the tariffs related to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Aircraft disputes for four months and to work toward resolving these long-running disputes at the WTO," the statement said.

Airbus welcomed the decision and said it supports "all necessary actions to create a level-playing field and continue to support a negotiated settlement of this longstanding dispute in order to avoid lose-lose tariffs."

Boeing didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The action will mean a suspension of U.S. tariffs on $7.5 billion in imported European products, including wine, whiskey and food items such as cheese and olives, as well as aircraft.

In exchange, the EU will lift duties on $4 billion in U.S. products including jetliners, wine, suitcases and produce such as cherries.

The decision by the EU and the U.S. to suspend tariffs on aircraft deliveries for four months will ease another of the constraints affecting Boeing and Airbus customers.

The suspension of the tariffs reflects an easing of trade tensions between Washington and its trading partners strained by President Donald Trump's aggressive trade policy. Mr. Biden has said he would work closely with allies and international organizations.

Katherine Tai, who is expected to be confirmed U.S. Trade Representative in the coming days, said during her confirmation hearing last week that she was eager to resolve the aircraft dispute.

The announcement came a day after the U.S. and the U.K. unveiled a similar agreement, in which both countries are suspending retaliatory tariffs in the aircraft dispute for four months. The decision has resulted in the removal of U.S. tariffs on U.K. whiskeys and other items.

Delta Air Lines Inc. has been the U.S. carrier most affected by the EU action, while Ryanair Holdings PLC's Boeing 737 MAX delivery schedule made it the most exposed European airline this year. Carriers haven't disclosed whether they paid the tariffs.

Write to Laurence Norman at, Yuka Hayashi at and Doug Cameron at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 05, 2021 13:13 ET (18:13 GMT)

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