Airbus-Boeing conflict: EU announces customs sanctions against the United States

A Boeing 787 parked on the tarmac at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in France (illustration).


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Without waiting for the arrival of the new American President Joe Biden, Brussels announced, Monday, November 9, customs sanctions against the United States in the dispute between Airbus and Boeing, in order to seek a negotiated end to this conflict that is more than 15 years old. years.


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Brussels counter-attacks, and will in turn impose customs sanctions against Washington as authorized by the World Trade Organization.

This is the last act in the

soap opera between the EU and the United States

on state aid to their respective aeronautical champions, Airbus and Boeing.

And this while the EU trade ministers met on Monday, November 9 in Brussels, to discuss the future of trade relations with the United States.

These measures could represent up to $ 4 billion in taxes on products such as airplanes, but also tractors, peanuts, tobacco or even ketchup.

Open door

The European Union is in fact applying

the decision taken last month

by the WTO which authorizes it to respond to the taxes imposed since last year by the United States and themselves validated by the WTO at the level of 7, $ 5 billion.

This is how

French wine,

for example, has been deprived of its flagship market for months.

Sanctions that hurt all the more since the context of the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the burden on many sectors of the economy.

Airbus, last July, took the lead and brought itself into compliance with WTO regulations in order to encourage Washington to relax its measures.

That was not enough to end this 16-year-old litigation.

By adopting its sanctions, Brussels affirms its resolution to apply its law.

But while an institutional showdown is preparing at the top of the American administration, Brussels is also leaving a door open.

It says it is ready to raise its taxes at any time and always ready to obtain “ 

a negotiated solution


Hope Biden

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told Deutschlandfunk radio on Monday that he saw in the

change of president in the United States

the opportunity that we do not come to further tightening of rights. customs


Under Donald Trump, the United States pursued a policy of confrontation with Europe, often with Berlin in the sights.

There are great expectations after Joe Biden's electoral victory and the hope that the United States will return to a multilateral approach, including in trade,

 " Altmaier said upon his arrival in Brussels.

 ► Read also: The coronavirus crisis causes heavy losses for Airbus and Boeing


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  • European Union

  • Aeronautics

  • United States

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