On March 5, 2021, the USTR announced that the European Union and the United States agreed on the mutual suspension for four months of the tariffs related to the WTO Aircraft disputes. The suspension will cover all tariffs both on aircraft as well as on non-aircraft products, and will become effective as soon as the internal procedures on both sides are completed. A joint US-EU statement stated:
The EU and the US are committed to reach a comprehensive and durable negotiated solution to the Aircraft disputes. Key elements of a negotiated solution will include disciplines on future support in this sector, outstanding support measures, monitoring and enforcement, and addressing the trade distortive practices of and challenges posed by new entrants to the sector from non-market economies, such as China.
“These steps signal the determination of both sides to embark on a fresh start in the relationship.
The US tariffs were imposed pursuant to section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to enforce US rights in the WTO dispute against the European Union (EU) and certain EU member States addressed to EU subsidies on large civil aircraft. The annual trade value of the list of tariff subheadings subject to additional duties was approximately $7.5 billion, which was consistent with the WTO Arbitrator’s finding on the appropriate level of countermeasures. The announcement follows a similar US-UK suspension announced on March 4.