Quoting Irish poet, Biden ends EU trade war by renewing transatlantic ties
- EU, US announce truce in Trump-era trade war
- EU lifts steel tariffs for six months
- Biden meets the Belgian king, prime minister
- Biden says: The world has changed, completely changed
BRUSSELS, June 15 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden ended a front in a Trump-era trade war when he met with European Union leaders on Tuesday by reaching a truce in a transatlantic dispute over the aircraft subsidies that lasted for 17 years.
The EU has also lifted its tariffs on US steel and aluminum for six months in the hope that the US will do the same for Europe.
Quoting Irish poet WB Yeats at the start of his first EU-US summit as president, Biden also said the world is changing and Western democracies need to come together.
“The world has changed, completely changed,” said Biden, an Irish-American, quoting the poem Easter 1916, in remarks that pointed to the themes of his eight-day trip through Europe: China, the pandemic COVID-19 and the climate. change.
Sitting at an oval table at EU headquarters with representatives of the US cabinet, Biden told heads of European institutions that collaboration between the EU and the US was “the best response to deal with these changes.” which, according to him, aroused “great anxiety”.
He had previously told reporters that he had very different views from his predecessor. Former President Donald Trump also visited EU institutions in May 2017 but then imposed tariffs on the EU and encouraged Britain to leave the bloc.
“I think we have great opportunities to work closely with the EU as well as with NATO and we feel pretty good about that,” Biden said after walking through the futuristic Europa glass building, also known as the name of “The Egg”, up to the summit meeting room. with the leaders of the European institutions.
“It is extremely in the interests of the United States to have excellent relations with NATO and the EU”, he said, accompanied by the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the EU President Charles Michel, who represents the governments of the EU.
The EU and the US are the world’s main trading powers, along with China, but Trump has sought to sideline the EU.
JOBS OFFER DIGNITY
Biden also repeated his mantra: “America is back” and spoke about the need to provide good jobs for European and American workers, especially after the economic impact of COVID-19. He spoke of his father saying that a job “was more than just a paycheck” because it brought dignity.
He is seeking European support to defend Western liberal democracies in the face of a more assertive Russia and China’s military and economic growth.
Biden and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken earlier met Belgian King Philippe, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes at the Royal Palace in Brussels. Biden will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in Geneva.
“We are facing a unique global health crisis,” Biden told NATO, adding that “Russia and China are both seeking to drive a wedge in our transatlantic solidarity.”
NATO leaders first said on Monday that China’s rise to military power presented “systemic challenges.” China’s diplomatic mission to the EU on Tuesday called on NATO to “stop extolling in any form whatsoever the so-called Chinese threat,” and accused the alliance of “defaming the peaceful development of China”.
VERY COMMERCIAL, DEADLINE FOR STEEL
Biden and the European side have agreed to remove tariffs on $ 11.5 billion in goods from EU wine to US tobacco and spirits for five years. The tariffs were imposed on the basis of mutual frustration over state subsidies to US aircraft maker Boeing (BN) and European rival Airbus (AIR.PA).
The two sides have pledged to provide financing to their manufacturers of large civil aircraft on market terms and not to fund research in a way that would be detrimental to each other.
“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on the way to cruising speed,” said von der Leyen.
In a reference to China, Washington and Brussels “will work together to tackle non-market practices of third parties that could harm their respective large civil aircraft industries.”
While Airbus and Boeing have factories in China, they accuse Beijing of massive state subsidies in an attempt to develop rival passenger jets, the Chinese-made C919 jets.
However, Washington has not pledged to end another row over its punitive steel and aluminum tariffs, as the EU demanded. The EU has now suspended its countermeasures for six months, von der Leyen said, effectively giving Washington a December deadline to remove Trump-era functions. “Let’s figure out, during this period, how we can get rid of this nuisance,” von der Leyen told reporters.
The resolution of the steel dispute gives both sides more time to focus on concerns about the overproduction of metals in China, diplomats said.
However, there were no new firm transatlantic climate commitments at the summit, and both sides avoided setting a date to stop burning coal.
Reporting by John Chalmers; Editing by Peter Cooney
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