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UK, US agree truce in Airbus-Boeing dispute

June 17, 2021

The two sides have been locked in a row over subsidies for European planemaker Airbus and its US rival Boeing for almost two decades.

Boeing 737 flying in the sky
Both sides agreed to suspend tariffs for five yearsImage: Christian Bodlaj/Chromorange/picture alliance

Britain and the United States on Thursday agreed a deal to resolve a trade dispute involving rival planemakers Boeing and Airbus.

The truce in the 17-year conflict comes two days after the EU and the US reached a similar agreement.

The two sides have been battling in parallel cases at the World Trade Organization since 2004 over subsidies for US aircraft firm Boeing and European rival Airbus. Each argued the measures exposed the other to unfair competition. The row led to damaging retaliatory tariffs slapped on products on both sides of the Atlantic.

Boost for trans-Atlantic ties

Britain's Trade Ministry said in a statement that the US and UK had now agreed to suspend these tariffs for five years and cooperate more closely on tackling unfair trade practices by non-market economies.

"Today's deal draws a line under an incredibly damaging issue," British Trade Minister Liz Truss said.

She added that the UK could now focus on taking its "trading relationship with the US to the next level," as Britain seeks to reach a post-Brexit free-trade agreement with the world's biggest economy.

On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden and the EU also agreed to suspend billions in punitive tariffs for five years in a bid to set aside their differences and instead address the threat posed by China.

nm/rt (Reuters, AFP)