The U.S. and the European Union agreed Friday to suspend tariffs on wine, luggage, produce and other goods related to a longstanding dispute over government subsidies to
in a sign of easing trade tensions.
The four-month suspension followed a conversation between President Biden and European Commission President
Ursula von der Leyen,
who both said the tariff cease-fire was a chance to improve strained bilateral ties.
The decision results in the temporary removal of tariffs imposed on products worth $11.5 billion, including levies of 25% the U.S. imposed on $7.5 billion in imported European products, including wine, whiskey and food items like cheese and olives, as well as aircraft.
In exchange, the EU will lift duties on $4 billion U.S. products including jetliners, wine, suitcases and produce including nuts and cherries. It will also remove tariffs on U.S.-made rum, brandy and vodka, but not on American bourbon and other whiskeys targeted in a separate trade dispute.
The White House said that Mr. Biden underscored to Ms. von der Leyen his commitment to “repair and revitalize the U.S.-EU partnership.”
“Noting our shared values and the world’s largest trade and investment relationship, the leaders agreed to suspend the tariffs related to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Aircraft disputes for four months and to work toward resolving these long running disputes at the WTO,” the White House said.
Ms. von der Leyen hailed the decision as a fresh start for the trans-Atlantic relationship.
“This is excellent news for businesses and industries on both sides of the Atlantic, and a very positive signal for our economic cooperation in the years to come,” she said in a statement.
U.S. lawmakers and groups representing beverage importers and restaurants have urged the Biden administration to lift the retaliatory tariffs in recent weeks, saying they were hurting the hospitality industry at a time when its businesses are struggling amid the pandemic.
“Lifting this tariff burden will support the recovery of restaurants, bars and small craft distilleries across that country that were forced to shut down their businesses during the pandemic,” the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States said Friday.
The group hailed the agreement as…