French government welcomes suspension of EU-US sanctions

The two sides, opposed since 2004 over illegal subsidies paid to Airbus and Boeing, decided to suspend mutual punitive customs duties for a period of five years, extending the four-month truce they had agreed on in March. [Shutterstock/ vaalaa]

Several French ministers have welcomed Tuesday’s agreement between the EU and the US to end the 17-year Airbus-Boeing dispute, calling it an “excellent signal for French and European companies”.

The two sides, which have clashed since 2004 over illegal subsidies paid to Airbus and Boeing, decided to suspend mutual punitive customs duties for a period of five years, extending the four-month truce they had agreed on in March.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, as well as his colleagues, Foreign Trade Minister Franck Riester and Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, welcomed the agreement in a joint statement.

The conflict has weighed heavily on the French wine and liquor sectors, subject to 25% of additional customs duties for exports to the US, as well as the aeronautical sector, subject to 15% of extra charges, the ministers recalled in their paper, noting that the sanctions “have been particularly detrimental” to the French and European economy during the pandemic.

The next five years “will make it possible to define common principles for public funding of civil aircraft construction in an operational manner, and thus to remove the sanctions permanently”, the ministers claimed.

“We will now be able to focus on finally putting these disputes behind us, and on defining fair competition conditions for public support to the aeronautical sector, which is strategic for both Europe and the United States,” they added. (Magdalena Pistorius | EURACTIV.fr)

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