(Adds German coffee industry) (.)
June 15 (Reuters) - The European Union and the United States have agreed a truce in their near 17-year conflict over aircraft subsidies for U.S. planemaker Boeing and European rival Airbus, the EU said on Tuesday.
They agreed in March to a four-month suspension of tariffs on $11.5 billion of goods from EU cheese and wine to U.S. tobacco and spirits. Businesses have so far paid over $3.3 billion in duties.
Here are reactions to the deal:
URSULA VON DER LEYEN, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT
“This really opens a new chapter in our relationship because we move from litigation to cooperation on aircraft - after 17 years of dispute.”
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT
“It’s overwhelmingly in the interest of the USA to have a great relationship with NATO and the EU. I have very different views than my predecessor.”
CHRISTIAN SCHERER, AIRBUS CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER
“Anything that levels the playing field in this highly competitive industry and avoids this terrible lose-lose proposition of tariffs (is) good.”
TOM VILSACK, U.S. SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE
The truce “will certainly be good news for American agriculture”, Vilsack said at a congressional budget hearing. “We will continue to work with the USTR and continue to look for opportunities to expand more, new and better markets.”
CHRIS SWONGER, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE DISTILLED SPIRITS COUNCIL OF THE UNITED STATES
“The five-year suspension of these tariffs on distilled spirits is happening at a critical time for the U.S. hospitality industry. We appreciate the Biden administration’s work to reset relationships with our trade allies.
“However, the EU and the UK continue to impose a 25 percent tariff on American Whiskeys as part of the steel and aluminum trade dispute, which has severely damaged what had been for many years a great American export success story.
“Until steps are taken to permanently remove these tariffs on American Whiskeys, the United States’ largest spirits export category will remain at a serious competitive disadvantage in our two most important export markets.
“American Whiskey exports to the EU, our largest export market, grew from $502 million in 2008 to $702 million in 2018, an increase of 40 percent. Since the tariffs were imposed, our American Whiskey exports to the EU have declined by 37 percent and to the UK by 53 percent.”
HOLGER PREIBISCH, CEO GERMAN COFFEE INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION DEUTSCHER KAFFEEVERBAND
“We have fought intensively and long against both punitive tariffs - against those from the U.S. and against the EU.
“At last these unfair limits on trade will end. Neither the EU nor the U.S. had any gain from the punitive tariffs. Companies and consumers on both sides had to pay higher prices for coffee because of the trade barriers.
“It is strongly welcomed that the political administrations in the U.S. and EU have now turned from confrontation to de-escalation.
“The coffee trade, coffee companies and coffee consumers will profit from this.”
REYES MAROTO, SPAIN’S INDUSTRY, TRADE AND TOURISM MINISTER
“The agreement is a historic step towards ending the longest trade conflict within the WTO and definitively removing tariffs that have weighed down the Spanish aeronautical and agri-food industries, as well as being able to recover Spanish export and investment operations in the U.S. market, which is key for our companies and for the recovery of the Spanish economy.”
MAURICIO GARCIA DE QUEVEDO, HEAD OF THE SPANISH FEDERATION OF FOOD AND DRINK INDUSTRIES (FIAB)
“We welcome this agreement with great relief. Spanish food and beverages have suffered for a long time from the consequences of a conflict that was not related to the sector and that has meant a significant setback for many companies in favour of other competing countries. Now is the time to strengthen our position and recover our presence in an essential market for food and beverages such as the United States.”
ANTONIO DE MORA, HEAD OF SPANISH OLIVE EXPORTERS’ ASSOCIATION ASEMESA
“They have reached an agreement on a roadmap to settle the issue within 5 years. If confirmed that this agreement will have the effect of immediately suspending tariffs, it would be wonderful news because it solves one of the two serious problems we have: the 25% tariffs on green olive exports to the U.S., which accounted for 60% of our exports.”
“We have stopped exporting green olives worth approximately 30 million euros a year.”
“But we still have a serious problem in our exports: black olives are not included in this agreement.”
MARC BUSCH, NONRESIDENT SENIOR FELLOW, SNOWCROFT CENTER FOR STRATEGY AND SECURITY, ATLANTIC COUNCIL
“It’s almost impossible to imagine an end to Boeing-Airbus. But there you have it, the US and European Union (EU) announced today that it’s over. Subsidies are to be capped. But what does this mean? It that both direct launch aid (what Airbus gets) and indirect government R&D subsidies (what Boeing gets)? What’s the deal do to define and cap subsidies that wasn’t in the 1992 Large Civil Aircraft (LCA) Agreement or in the World Trade Organization (WTO)? Or is the deal just a cessation of hostilities owing to the fact that WTO-authorized retaliation got out of control? Washington and Brussels need each other to deal with China, particularly at the WTO, and neither derived any meaningful leverage from wielding retaliatory tariffs. But in reaching a cessation of hostilities, have the US and EU achieved peace in our time? Don’t bet on it.”
JULIA FRIEDLANDER, C. BOYDEN GRAY SENIOR FELLOW & DEPUTY DIRECTOR, GEOECONOMICS CENTER, ATLANTIC COUNCIL
“So enter from stage left the Airbus-Boeing dispute, the paradigm of WTO dead-ends where the moral lines aren’t easy to draw. Both sides are probably equally as right they are equally wrong, and it has nothing to do with Trump. Negotiators know that on the ground it will be hard to deliver on the political prerogative handed to them. Let’s not deride an interim resolution - this is still progress by any metric, but remember, as much as Biden and Ursula von der Leyen shake on it, it is ultimately up to the firms to agree to the terms of a settlement. And that means two things: time and lawyers. Expect an extension of the negotiations, followed by extended suspension of retaliatory measures. It also means that Brussels has to mollify Germany, France, and Spain, where Airbus aircraft are made, and Washington will have words with... Washington State.”
BRITAIN’S DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE
“We have been working hard with the U.S. to de-escalate and agree a settlement after making the first move in suspending tariffs.”
“We look forward to continuing discussions on the long-standing Large Civil Aircraft dispute during (U.S. Trade Representative) Katherine Tai’s visit to the UK on Wednesday, and achieving a fair and balanced settlement that works for the whole of the UK.”
Reporting by Marine Strauss, Philip Blenkinsop, William James, Tim Hepher, Emma Pinedo and Michael Hogan Editing by David Evans, Bernadette Baum and Giles Elgood