US President Joe Biden ended a front in a Trump-era trade war when he met with European Union leaders on Tuesday by agreeing to a truce in a transatlantic jet subsidy dispute that has dragged on for 17 years.
Arriving at the summit with the heads of the European institutions in Brussels, Biden said he was looking for “a great relationship with the EU and NATO” because it was in the interests of the United States.
He told reporters that he had very different views from his predecessor. Former President Donald Trump also visited EU institutions in May 2017 but then imposed tariffs on the EU and encouraged Britain to leave the bloc.
“I think we have great opportunities to work closely with the EU as well as with NATO and we feel pretty good about that,” Biden said after walking through the futuristic Europa glass building, also known as the name of “The Egg”, up to the summit meeting room. with the leaders of the European institutions.
“It is extremely in the interests of the United States to have excellent relations with NATO and the EU. I have very different views from my predecessor,” he said. .
Biden and the European side have agreed to remove tariffs on $ 11.5 billion in goods from EU wine to US tobacco and spirits for five years. Tariffs have been hit tit for tat amid mutual frustration over state subsidies to U.S. aircraft maker Boeing and European rival Airbus.
“This meeting started with a breakthrough on planes,” said European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen. “This really opens a new chapter in our relationship as we move from litigation to cooperation on airplanes – after 17 years of dispute … Today we have delivered on their promises.”
The Biden summit is with von der Leyen and EU President Charles Michel, who represents EU governments.
“America is back”
Biden also repeated his mantra: “America is back”. He is seeking European support to defend Western liberal democracies in the face of a more assertive Russia and the military and economic rise of China.
“We are facing a unique global health crisis,” Biden told NATO on Monday evening, adding that “Russia and China are both seeking to drive a wedge in our transatlantic solidarity.”
According to a draft EU-US summit final declaration seen by Reuters and still being negotiated until the end of the meeting, Washington and Brussels will pledge to end another row over punitive tariffs linked to steel and aluminum.
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai discussed the air dispute on Monday during her first face-to-face meeting with her EU counterpart Valdis Dombrovskis ahead of the US-EU summit on Tuesday. The couple are due to speak Tuesday afternoon.
Freezing trade disputes gives both sides more time to focus on broader agendas such as concerns over the Chinese state-led economic model, diplomats said.
Biden and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken earlier met Belgian King Philippe, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes at the Royal Palace in Brussels. On Wednesday, he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva.
“A chance and a responsibility”
The draft summit declaration to be released at the end of the meeting said they had “a chance and a responsibility to help people earn a living and be safe, fight climate change and defend democracy and human rights “.
There is, however, no new firm transatlantic climate commitment in the draft summit declaration, and both sides will avoid setting a date to stop burning coal.
The EU and the US are the world’s main trading powers, along with China, but Trump has sought to sideline the EU.
After concluding a free trade agreement with the EU, the Trump administration has focused on reducing the growing US deficit in merchandise trade. Biden, however, sees the EU as an ally in promoting free trade, as well as in the fight against climate change and the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
News by Reuters, edited by MY. For more information on the supply chain, click here. Click on subscribe to subscribe ESM: European Magazine of Supermarkets.