Politics US, UK suspend retaliatory tariffs for four months
Biden’s Trade Chief Tasked With Reset After Trump Tariff Chaos
(Bloomberg) -- Supply Lines is a daily newsletter that tracks Covid-19’s impact on trade. Sign up here, and subscribe to our Covid-19 podcast for the latest news and analysis on the pandemic. Weeks before the White House said it would keep tariffs in place on more than $350 billion in Chinese goods, Katherine Tai previewed the bad news to a group of U.S. business leaders. Tai, who is President Joe Biden’s pick for U.S. Trade Representative, told executives at a private meeting hosted by the Business Roundtable last month that lobbying for the duties to be removed wouldn’t work, according to people familiar with her remarks.
The U.S. and U.K. have agreed to suspend some retaliatory tariffs regarding a long-standing Boeing and Airbus dispute for four months, effective Thursday.
"This will allow time to focus on negotiating a balanced settlement to the disputes, and begin seriously addressing the challenges posed by new entrants to the civil aviation market from non-market economies, such as China," the nations said in a joint statement.
The move is among the first major actions the Biden administration has taken to ease the aggressive trade wars President Trump pursued in office.
Biden administration must settle unwinnable WTO cases over steel and aluminum tariffs
Ending the 12 cases triggered by Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs would help signal U.S. resolve to see through WTO reform. Bad cases make bad case law, and worse. COVID delays at the WTO have handed Biden a little more time to resolve 12 bad cases that the U.S. can't win, no matter what the rulings are.Marc L. Busch is the Karl F. Landegger Professor of International Business Diplomacy at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and host of the podcast TradeCraft.
It will lift tariffs on a variety of foods and spirits, including Scotch whiskey, imposed as punishment by the countries over subsidies to their major aerospace manufacturers.
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The tariffs suspension will not include the European Union, which the U.K. left in January, and tariffs on U.S. whiskey related to a separate trade dispute will remain in place.
"While we welcome the U.S. decision to suspend the retaliatory tariffs on UK distilled spirits for four months, we are greatly disappointed that the UK's debilitating tariff on American Whiskey remains in place," the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States said in a statement.
"American Whiskey exports to the UK, our fourth largest market, have declined by 53 percent, from $150 to $71 since the imposition of tariffs," the group added.
Katherine Tai, President Biden's pick for U.S. trade representative, said in confirmation hearings that she would seek negotiated solutions to the trade disputes that have resulted in significant tariffs.
The Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved Tai's nomination on Wednesday. She is expected to be confirmed next week.
U.S., EU Agree to Suspend Tariffs in Boeing-Airbus Dispute .
The European Union and the U.S. agreed to suspend tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s products, easing a 17-year transatlantic dispute over illegal aid to the world’s biggest aircraft makers. President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen agreed to the move on a call Friday, the commission said in a statement.“This suspension will help restore confidence and trust, and therefore give us the space to come to a comprehensive and long-lasting negotiated solution,” European Commission Executive Vice-President and Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said in a separate statement.