The United States on Thursday announced a four-month temporary suspension of tariffs on goods from the United Kingdom as part of the long-running WTO dispute over illegal subsidies to Boeing and Airbus aircraft, the Office of the Foreign Trade Representative said.
“The United Kingdom and the United States are implementing a four-month tariff suspension to ease the burden on industry and take a bold, joint step to resolve the longest-running dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO),” the joint statement from Washington and London said.
As a result, a number of British products, such as Scotch whisky and cookies, will be able to be imported into the United States without an additional 25% tariff rate.
The suspension only affects British products, while the rest from the EU will continue to be subject to the additional tariff.
“This,” the note added, “will allow us to focus on a balanced settlement to the disputes, and to begin to seriously address the challenges posed by new competitors in the civil aviation market from non-market economies such as China.”
The EU and the United States have imposed retaliatory tariffs on each other in the long-running dispute settled by the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the granting of subsidies, respectively, to European aerospace company Airbus and U.S.-based Boeing.
Once outside the EU structures, after leaving the EU on January 1, the United Kingdom aspires to negotiate a new trade agreement with the United States, although the new administration of President Joe Biden has not specified its position on the matter.
His nominee to head the Office of the Foreign Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, is expected to be confirmed for the position next week in the U.S. Senate.