Trade

Biden Admin Ends 16-Year-Old Trade Dispute

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

The European Union and the Biden administration suspended tariffs and retaliatory tariffs imposed on each other's economies in response to the Boeing-Airbus subsidy dispute that dates back to the George W. Bush administration, but that suspension has now been extended through the middle of the decade.

Both sides have agreed to suspend their tariffs for five years under conditions that have already been met; conditions that were met even before Trump took office and imposed tariffs.

From Bloomberg:

The European Commission spent Monday night discussing the accord with member states to get the deal over the line before an EU-U.S. summit in Brussels with President Joe Biden, according to EU officials familiar with the deliberations. The allies will also vow to end a separate dispute over steel and aluminum, in a sign of progress in resetting the relationship.

Under the Airbus-Boeing deal, all future passenger aircraft will be required to be developed without subsidies, the officials said.

The Obama administration never aggressively pursued this outcome because they didn't need to. The original dispute dates back to 2006 and neither side imposed tariffs until Trump took office because illegal subsidies were no longer in place. There was no there, there. Trump waged a trade war with Europe over something that was informally settled a decade earlier.

Now that this more formally settled, I expect Trump's remaining tariffs on European metal will be eliminated in the relatively near future. Those tariffs serve no tangible, economic purpose; only a political purpose. Trump's entire global trade war was born out of his personal malice and political whims.

Once Trump's trade war with Europe is completely settled, I expect the Biden administration will turn their attention toward Trump's lingering trade war with China. And we may not see a resolution to that until next year, but I believe we will at some point.

Speaking of China, the desire to resolve Trump's trade war with Europe was reportedly driven by concerns that Chinese manufacturers will outcompete the west in the near future.

The agreement was driven, in part, by a growing awareness among policy makers in Brussels and Washington that China’s state-sponsored aerospace manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, or Comac, is on track to become a legitimate rival in global planemaking by the end of the decade.