When US President Joe Biden met with EU leaders on Tuesday, he ended a front in the Trump-era trade war and agreed to a truce in the transatlantic aircraft subsidy dispute, which has lasted for 17 years.
At the beginning of his first EU-US summit as president, Biden quoted the Irish poet Yeats as saying that the world is changing and Western democracies need to unite.
“The world has changed, completely changed,” Irish-American Biden quoted the poem of Easter in 1916 in his comments, pointing out the theme of his eight-day trip to Europe: the rise of China, COVID- 19 Pandemic and climate change.
Sitting at the oval table at the EU headquarters with US cabinet officials, he told EU institutional leaders that the cooperation between the EU and the US is “the best answer to these changes,” which he said has brought “great anxiety.”
He told reporters earlier that his views were completely different from those of his predecessors. Former President Donald Trump also visited EU institutions in May 2017, but later imposed tariffs on the EU and pushed for Brexit-the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
“I think we have a good opportunity to work closely with the EU and NATO, and we feel very good about it,” Biden said of the summit meeting room with the EU after walking through the futuristic glass Europa Tower (also known as The Egg). Institutional leaders.
“Maintaining good relations with NATO and the European Union is vital to the interests of the United States. My views are very different from those of my predecessors,” he said.
The two sides agreed to eliminate tariffs on US$11.5 billion in goods ranging from European Union wines to American tobacco and spirits within five years. Disappointed with the state subsidies of American aircraft manufacturer Boeing and European rival Airbus, the two sides levied tariffs tit-for-tat.
European Commission President Ursula von der Lein said: “This meeting started with a breakthrough in aircraft.” “This really opened a new chapter in our relationship because we moved from litigation to aircraft cooperation-after 17 years of controversy. …We have delivered today.”
Biden’s summit met with von der Lein and Charles Michel, the president of the European Council representing the governments of the European Union.
Biden also reiterated his mantra-“America is back”-and talked about the need to provide good jobs for European and American workers, especially after the economic impact of COVID-19. He said of his father that a job is “more than just a salary” because it brings dignity.
In the face of the more powerful military and economic rise of Russia and China, he is seeking European support to defend the Western liberal democracies.
“We are facing a once-in-a-century global health crisis,” Biden said at NATO on Monday night, while adding, “Russia and China are both seeking to weaken the wedge of our transatlantic unity.”
According to a draft EU-US summit statement seen by Reuters, negotiations are still underway before the end of the meeting, and Washington and Brussels will commit to ending another dispute over punitive tariffs related to steel and aluminum.
US Trade Representative Catherine Day discussed the aircraft dispute in the first face-to-face meeting with EU Trade Representative Valdis Dombrovskis before the US-EU summit. The two are scheduled to speak on Tuesday afternoon.
Diplomats said that easing the trade conflict allows both parties more time to focus on broader agendas, such as concerns about China’s state-driven economic model.
Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken earlier met with King Philip of Belgium, Prime Minister Alexander De Crowe and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmes at the Royal Palace in Brussels. On Wednesday, he met with Russian President Putin in Geneva.
The draft summit statement to be released at the end of the meeting stated that they “have the opportunity and responsibility to help people earn a living and protect their safety, respond to climate change, and defend democracy and human rights.”
However, there is no new transatlantic climate commitment in the draft summit statement, and the two sides will avoid setting a date to stop coal burning.
The European Union and the United States, like China, are the world’s largest trading nations, but Trump tried to put the European Union aside.
After reaching a free trade agreement with the European Union, the Trump administration focused on narrowing the US’s growing merchandise trade deficit. However, Biden sees the EU as an ally in promoting free trade, combating climate change, and ending the COVID-19 pandemic.