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EU and US Freeze Sanctions Over Boeing and Airbus Conflict

The European Union and the United States have reached a compromise over their 17-year conflict over mutual subsidies for aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus.


The two superpowers freeze their mutual sanctions for five years. During that period, they will look for a solution for, among other things, the subsidies that have already been paid to Boeing and Airbus, US trade envoy Katherine Tai said in Brussels on the sidelines of President Joe Biden’s visit.

The EU and the US have accused each other of years of unfairly favouring their aircraft manufacturers. They have imposed billions of euros and dollars in punitive measures on each other because, according to Europeans, Washington illegally supports Boeing and Airbus, jointly owned by Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom, received illegal subsidies according to the US.

For example, in an unprecedented tit-for-tat policy on both sides, import duties were imposed on French wine and American whiskey. According to Tai, this involved a total of 11.5 billion euros (almost 9.5 billion euros).

In March, shortly after new president Joe Biden took office, the two sides suspended their sanctions for four months in hopes of reaching an agreement on a short-term solution. That period has now been extended by five years, Tai said. “This announcement resolves a long-standing trade irritation in US-European relations,” Tai said.

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