EU, US call for truce in Trump-era trade war | Business and Economy News
US President Joe Biden ended a front in a Trump-era trade war when he met with European Union leaders on Tuesday by agreeing to a truce in a transatlantic aircraft subsidy dispute that has dragged on for 17 years.
Quoting Irish poet WB Yeats at the start of his first EU-US summit as president, Biden also said the world is changing and Western democracies need to come together.
“The world has changed, completely changed,” said Biden, an Irish-American, quoting the poem Easter 1916, in remarks that pointed to the themes of his eight-day trip through Europe: the rise of China , the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
Sitting at an oval table at EU headquarters with representatives of the US cabinet, he told leaders of European institutions that collaboration between the bloc and the US was “the best response to deal with these changes” which , according to him, aroused “great anxiety”.
He had previously told reporters that he had very different views from his predecessor. Former President Donald Trump also visited EU institutions, in May 2017, but subsequently imposed tariffs on the EU and promoted Brexit – the UK’s departure from the bloc.
“I think we have great opportunities to work closely with the EU as well as with NATO and we feel pretty good about it,” Biden said after walking through the futuristic Europa glass building, also known as the name of The Egg, to the summit meeting room with the EU. school leaders.
“It is extremely in the interests of the United States to have excellent relations with NATO and the EU. I have very different points of view from those of my predecessor, ”he said.
The two sides agreed to remove tariffs on $ 11.5 billion worth of goods from EU wine to US tobacco and spirits for five years. The tariffs were imposed on the basis of mutual frustration over state subsidies to US aircraft maker Boeing and European rival Airbus.
“This meeting started with a breakthrough on planes,” said European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen. “It really opens a new chapter in our relationship as we move from litigation to cooperation on airplanes – after 17 years of dispute… Today we have kept their promises. “
The Biden summit is with von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, who represents EU governments.
Biden also repeated his mantra – “America is back” – and spoke about the need to provide good jobs for European and American workers, especially after the economic impact of COVID-19. He spoke of his father saying that a job “was more than just a paycheck” because it brought dignity.
He is seeking European support to defend Western liberal democracies in the face of a more assertive Russia and the military and economic rise of China.
“We are facing a unique global health crisis,” Biden told NATO on Monday evening, adding that “Russia and China are both seeking to drive a wedge in our transatlantic solidarity.”
According to a draft EU-US summit declaration seen by Reuters news agency and still under negotiation until the end of the meeting, Washington and Brussels will pledge to end another dispute over the punitive tariffs linked to steel and aluminum.
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai discussed the air dispute during her first face-to-face meeting with her European counterpart Valdis Dombrovskis ahead of the US-EU summit. The couple are due to speak Tuesday afternoon.
Freezing trade disputes gives both sides more time to focus on broader agendas such as concerns over the Chinese state-led economic model, diplomats said.
Biden and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken earlier met Belgian King Philippe, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes at the Royal Palace in Brussels. On Wednesday, he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva.
The draft summit declaration to be released at the end of the meeting said they had “a chance and a responsibility to help people earn a living and be safe, fight climate change and defend democracy and human rights “.
There is, however, no new firm transatlantic climate commitment in the draft summit declaration, and both sides will avoid setting a date to stop burning coal.
The EU and the US are the world’s main trading powers, along with China, but Trump has sought to sideline the EU.
After concluding a free trade agreement with the EU, the Trump administration has focused on reducing the growing US deficit in merchandise trade. Biden, however, sees the EU as an ally in promoting free trade, as well as in the fight against climate change and the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.