Is an end in sight for the US-Europe disputes over aviation subsidies and metal tariffs?

Wed 9 Jun 2021
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

EU leaders and US president Joe Biden will soon commit to ending the tariff dispute that has cost businesses on both sides of the Atlantic around $18bn.

According to a draft of conclusions from talks between the EU and US to de-escalate trade tensions, seen by Bloomberg, the two parties will agree to resolve their longstanding disagreements, including the nearly two-decade-old row over aircraft subsidies.


The timetable fits the prediction of UK trade minister Liz Truss who said she expected a resolution to the dispute by July, Reuters reported.

The US, EU and UK agreed to suspend tariffs in March as they looked for a permanent solution to the issue.


The US and EU will pledge to finding a solution to the 16-year dispute over government aid provided to US plane manufacturer Boeing and Europe’s Airbus before 11 July, ahead of an EU-US summit on 15 July.

They will also promise to remove tariffs related to a separate conflict over steel and aluminium tariffs before the end of the year.

UK affected

As reported in the IOE&IT Daily Update, although the UK is no longer a member of the EU it is still affected by the dispute as it is one of the four partner nations behind Airbus.

As well as bringing a case against the EU, the US also brought a case against each of the partner nations.

UK strategy

However, the UK chose to unilaterally suspend tariffs with the US when it left the EU as part of its strategy for securing a post-Brexit trade deal.

The UK is currently reviewing its tariffs on US products in a bid to get Biden to drop the Trump-era tariffs on UK metals, according to City AM.

Liz Truss has said she wants to de-escalate disputes and “work closely with the US on issues like WTO reform and tackling unfair trade practices by non-market economies”.