After two days of intensive negotiations in Brussels, the United States and European Union are poised to resolve the near-two-decade dispute over illegal subsidies to their respective aircraft manufacturers.
Late on Monday night, diplomats told the Financial Times that the two sides were close to “confirming a deal on subsidy rules for Airbus and Boeing.” The deal is set to be finalized on Tuesday as President Joe Biden visits Brussels for the first time.
The European Union is currently seeking approval from the three countries in which Airbus is based: France, Germany and Spain.See Also:Olive Oil Trade News
Barring any last-minute objections, the deal would end the longest running dispute in World Trade Organization (WTO) history and permanently eliminate tariffs on consumer goods heading from one side of the Atlantic to the other.
The news of the potential elimination of tariffs will come as welcome relief to the Spanish olive oil sector and the French and Spanish table olive sectors.
In October 2019, the WTO approved a $7.5‑billion package of U.S. tariffs on European imports after the international trade body found the E.U. to be providing illegal subsidies to Airbus.
Packaged Spanish olive oil and some green table olives from both France and Spain were hit with 25-percent tariffs, which led to drastic reductions in exports of both.
Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias, Spain’s leading agricultural cooperative, said that bottled olive oil exports to the United States decreased by 80 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, as a result of the tariffs.
The Spanish Association of Table Olive Exporters and Producers (Asemesa) said that green table olive exports to the U.S. fell by 25 percent over the same time period.
One year later, the WTO approved a $4‑billion package of E.U. tariffs on American imports after it said the U.S. was also providing illegal subsidies to Boeing.
The news of the potential deal is the latest step in a series of de-escalations, which both the Spanish government, olive oil and table olive industries have called for in recent months, hoping to take advantage of renewed goodwill to strengthen trade and security bonds on both sides of the Atlantic.
If the deal comes to fruition, it will be announced this week at a joint press conference between Biden and the European counterparts.