US President Joe Biden pledged Friday to “repair and revitalize” ties with the European Union after Washington and Brussels agreed to suspend tariffs imposed in a trade dispute involving Boeing and Airbus.
The 16-year-old trans-Atlantic conflict over government aid to the firms saw Brussels and Washington each impose punitive tariffs, including US duties on a record $7.5 billion in European goods.
Biden spoke with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, agreeing to suspend the tariffs and “work toward resolving these long running disputes at the WTO,” the White House said in a statement.
“He underscored his support for the European Union and his commitment to repair and revitalize the US-EU partnership,” the statement said.
It said both leaders agreed to suspend the tariffs in recognition of “our shared values and the world’s largest trade and investment relationship.”
Washington had imposed tariffs on European products like wine, cheese and olive oil, and 15 percent tariffs on Airbus.
And the EU levied additional customs duties on $4 billion worth of American products including Boeing planes and farm produce such as wheat and tobacco, plus alcoholic spirits and chocolate.
Biden initially maintained the duties imposed by his predecessor Donald Trump.
Biden and von der Leyen also discussed the importance of close US-EU cooperation on a wide range of issues from containing the Covid-19 pandemic to pursuing a sustainable global economic recovery, tackling the climate crisis and strengthening democracy, the statement said.
And they agreed to coordinate on issues of shared interest, including China, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and the Western Balkans.