U.S. Speaks with EU, U.K. About Resolving Airbus-Boeing Dispute


President Joe Biden’s trade representative held her first meetings with counterparts from the European Union and U.K. on Monday, with all sides expressing desire to resolve a dispute over subsidies to manufacturers Boeing Co. and Airbus SE.

USTR Katherine Tai, who was sworn in last week, and European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis discussed “their strong interest” in resolving the aircraft dispute, her office said in a statement following the virtual meeting. In a separate meeting with U.K. Trade Secretary Liz Truss, Tai agreed to partner with the nation toward the same goal.

Tai also discussed her ongoing review of the Trump administration’s work to reach a free-trade agreement with the U.K., and spoke with both officials about shared work to address challenges including issues related to China and climate change. Tai said that she and Truss will continue discussions at a Group of Seven trade ministers’ meeting this month.

The U.S. agreed separately with the EU and U.K. to temporarily suspend tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s products earlier this month, easing a 17-year transatlantic dispute over illegal aid to the world’s biggest aircraft makers as an incentive to negotiate a deal.

Separately, the U.S. and U.K. began negotiating a free-trade agreement under Trump, which would be a major prize for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is seeking to deepen economic relationships globally after the U.K.’s split from the EU. But Biden has said that he doesn’t plan to sign any new deals before making investments in the U.S.

Tai also spoke with World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, emphasizing the U.S.’s commitment to enhancing the world’s response to the pandemic and ensuring widespread access to vaccines.

India and South Africa initiated a debate at the WTO over whether nations should agree to a broad waiver to intellectual-property rights for vaccines and other Covid-19 medicines.

Last year the U.S., EU, Switzerland and a range of other nations rebuffed the proposal.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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