The fight between the United States and the European Union over the two largest aircraft builders in the world is coming to a preliminary end after 17 years. US President Biden and President Von der Leyen of the European Commission have agreed to bury the hatchet for at least five years and strike a line through sanctions.
Cheesemakers, whiskey pickers and sweet potato growers, among others, have been dragged into the conflict that revolved around the battle between European aircraft manufacturer Airbus and American aircraft manufacturer Boeing in recent years. The two aircraft builders work together to control the market and are assisted with government money. Both the United States and the European Union complain about the support that the other person gives.
The US government had imposed import tariffs at $7.5 billion in European products such as airplanes, French wine and cheeses as punishment for the European Union. The European Union then introduced additional charges at $4 billion in US goods, including aircraft, tractors and whiskey.
The EU considered Boeing to receive state aid through military assignments, the Americans pointed to constructions where Airbus borrows money from governments and is unclear how much to repay.
As early as 2004, the first complaints to the World Trade Organization (WTO) about the aid were filed. The WTO gave green light to the United States in 2019 to introduce sanctions. The list of products initially scared Dutch cheesemakers. They thought the popular Gouda and Edammer cheese was on the list of hit products. That wasnt the case later.
The cheese sector suspected that Ambassador Pete Hoekstra had ensured that Dutch cheese was not on it, but he denied it.
Other cheeses remained on the list. “The disappearance of import duties ensures peace and we are happy with that. “, says Onno Boersma of entrepreneurial organisation Gemzu. According to him, entrepreneurs have suffered from it, although it is not reflected in the export figures. Exports to the US have been around 15 million kilos of cheese a year for years.
The European Union and the United States have agreed for the next five years how much support can be given to Airbus and Boeing and under what conditions. France, Germany and Spain supported the deal. Airbus has a relatively large number of branches in those countries.
The agreement does not mean the end of all trade conflicts between the European Union and the United States. For example, the US is keeping taxes on European steel and aluminium intact for the time being.