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Biden and von der Leyen agree to suspend Airbus/Boeing tariffs




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Following a phone call with President Biden this afternoon (5 March), European Commission President von der Leyen revealed in a statement after the call that “as a symbol of this fresh start” they had agreed to suspend all tariffs imposed in the context of the Airbus-Boeing disputes, both on aircraft and non-aircraft products, for an initial period of four months.

Both sides committed to focus on resolving the dispute, through their respective trade representatives. Von der Leyen welcomed the news, saying: “This is excellent news for businesses and industries on both sides of the Atlantic, and a very positive signal for our economic co-operation in the years to come.”

The suspension is already being welcomed by politicians across Europe; Bruno le Maire, French economy minister, said that in times of crisis it was best for both sides to co-operate.

The leaders also discussed many challenges the EU shared with the US as allies. 

On COVID-19, there was a recognition that as major producers of vaccines the EU and US had a responsibility to ensure the good functioning of global supply chains. Von der Leyen invited President Biden to the Global Health Summit in Rome on 21 May.


On climate action co-operation, von der Leyen “warmly thanked” President Biden for re-joining the Paris Agreement. The EU and US have agreed to engage ahead of COP26 in Glasgow this year. In that context, von der Leyen has invited John Kerry to the next College meeting and thanked President Biden for the invitation to attend the Earth Day Climate Summit that he is convening.

On the future of the EU/US economic relationship, von der Leyen proposed a new partnership rooted in our shared values and principles. She will set up a ministerial-level Trade and Technology Council to address innovation challenges, which is seen as a key forum to build on transatlantic technology alliance.

The leaders also managed to discuss foreign policy, where they agree to step up co-operation “as like-minded partners and support democracy, stability and prosperity against the backdrop of a fast-changing international environment” in close co-operation with NATO.

Apart from a shared “strategic outlook” on Russia, von der Leyen suggested that we closely coordinate our policies and measures with respect to Eastern Europe, in particular. The leaders also shared views on the situation in Ukraine. The conversation took place on the same day that US Secretary of State Blinken announced that he would impose “public designation” restrictions on Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyy.

Section 7031(c) of the law provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that officials of foreign governments have been involved in significant corruption, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.

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