Wheat Organizations Welcome End to European Trade Dispute

by Colter Brown

President Biden and European Union leaders reached an agreement to halt the long-running trade dispute over subsidies for Boeing and Airbus. The announcement came as the president participated in an EU-U.S. summit in Brussels as part of his first trip overseas as president.

The two sides hope it will improve relations between America and Europe as both are collectively trying to counter the rising power of China. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai says the announcement resolves a long-standing “irritant” in the relationship between the U.S. and the European Union. “Instead of fighting with one of our closest allies, we are finally coming together against a common threat,” she says.

As part of the deal, both sides will suspend the tariffs related to the dispute for five years, including tariffs on wine, spirits, tractors, and cheese. Biden still hasn’t announced plans to lift tariffs on European steel and aluminum imposed by the Trump administration, which may still be a continued source of tensions. A senior administration official says the negotiations are ongoing, describing them as constructive, but did note that they will take time.

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) congratulated the Biden Administration and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai for resolving the trade dispute, calling it welcome news for wheat farm families in the Northern and Central Plains.

The retaliatory tariffs implemented over the issue were a barrier to U.S. wheat exports to the European Union. Under the dispute, the EU placed retaliatory tariffs on non-durum U.S. wheat, which effectively blocked average annual imports of more than 538,000 metric tons of mainly U.S. hard red spring and some hard red winter wheat. Three months ago, the United States and the EU agreed to temporarily suspend all retaliatory tariffs and imports resumed almost immediately.

Just days after the announcement of the suspension of tariffs between the U.S. and EU, The US also agree to a five-year moratorium on retaliatory tariffs for aircraft subsidies with the United Kingdom.

“The wheat industry is thankful for President Biden and Ambassador Tai’s commitment to prioritize the trade relationships between the United States, European Union, and now the United Kingdom,” said NAWG CEO Chandler Goule. “The five-year truce announced on Tuesday with the EU and yesterday with the UK removes a significant trade barrier on wheat exports and provides long-term certainty for wheat growers in the upper Midwest.”




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