U.S. Trade Chief Hopeful, Motivated to End Airbus-Boeing Dispute
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President Joe Biden’s trade chief said that she’s hopeful and motivated about resolving a longstanding dispute over illegal aid to to Airbus SE and Boeing Co. by early July.
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai is “very committed” to making the most of a four-month tariff reprieve to resolve tensions over aircraft subsidies that have been running for almost two decades, she said at a Senate hearing on Wednesday. Tai said that she’s been in touch with her counterparts in both the European Union and U.K.
“I am at this point very motivated and hopeful that we will get the traction that we need with our trading partners,” Tai said. “I very much hope that they see this opportunity as I do, as one that we really need to seize to prove to ourselves and to the rest of the world that we can move on, because we have to.”
The fight over aid to Toulouse, France-based Airbus and Chicago-based Boeing has resulted in duties -- authorized by the World Trade Organization -- that target a combined $11.5 billion in transatlantic trade and affect a range of industrial, agricultural and consumer goods.
The EU hit $4 billion of American products in November -- about a year after Donald Trump’s administration ignored European pleas to refrain from imposing levies on $7.5 billion of imports from the bloc.
Through its duties, the U.S. has targeted key European products like French wine and Spanish olives while Europe has hit U.S. tractors, nuts and fruit.
Some of the companies affected by the tariffs -- among the largest approved by the WTO to date -- include European luxury brand owners such as LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE that owns Givenchy and Fendi, alcoholic-beverage maker Bacardi Ltd., Caterpillar Inc. and Microsoft Corp.
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