Airbus-Boeing row: a groundbreaking truce?

The EU and the US have agreed on a compromise in the dispute over subsidies for Boeing and Airbus: in an initial step they will suspend the mutual punitive tariffs for five years, thus defusing one of their MAIN trade conflicts. Some commentators see this as a major step forward. Others warn that nothing has been gained yet.

Open/close all quotes
La Repubblica (IT) /

Proof that the EU is a crucial partner

La Repubblica's Brussels correspondent Andrea Bonanni identifies a rapprochement on a number of conflict issues:

“The end of the Boeing-Airbus dispute that has smouldered for 17 years, the commitment to resolve the steel dispute launched by Trump in his anti-European crusade, the creation of a cooperation council that for the first time establishes a bilateral instrument for the US and the European Union. ... All these are political decisions that show that Europe is not just a commercial counterpart for Washington, but 'our natural partner', as Biden said during the summit. A crucial partner for countering Chinese economic expansionism and forcing Beijing to truly respect the rules of the market.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Plenty of other problems to be solved

But the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung points out that many other disputes between the EU and the US have yet to be resolved:

“The protective tariffs on steel and aluminium imposed by Biden's predecessor Donald Trump in 2018 during his most confrontational phase are the main issue here. Biden is not even willing to talk seriously about this. He has left all the EU's peace offerings unanswered, such as the recent offer to refrain from tightening counter-tariffs. The fear of alienating working class voters is clearly too great. The same goes for the EU's offers to reform the World Trade Organisation.”

Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

Don't make do with soft version of Trump

Jyllands-Posten points to other areas where dialogue is needed:

“President Biden is described as 'Trump on cat's paws' when it comes to his trade policy, in reference to the fact that US trade policy has barely shifted since the change of government in January. Fortunately, this is also true as far as the relationship with China is concerned. But the EU should do its utmost to ensure that this does not also apply to the US's trade policy with Europe. Especially since Brexit, the EU needs to be reminded that there is nothing more important than the transatlantic relationship. The absence of a free trade agreement between the US and the EU is tantamount to capitulation.”