LONDON, June 15 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Shelving a 17-year spat over Boeing (BA.N) and Airbus (AIR.PA) subsidies speaks volumes about U.S. and European concerns over China. Tuesday’s agreement between Washington and Brussels stops short of a full-blown peace deal. But a five-year tariff truce, based on their reaching a common understanding of “acceptable” levels of state support for aviation, means both sides can focus on the growing commercial threat from the Middle Kingdom.
Boeing’s 737 MAX problems opened a narrow window to state-backed Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China. Its main rival is helping close it. The deal, announced during U.S. President Joe Biden’s first visit to Europe, puts more cement in the cracks opened in the transatlantic relationship by his predecessor. It also throws a lifeline to everything from the European cheese- to American suitcase-makers who faced retaliatory levies just as economies emerge from the pandemic. Specific to aviation, both sides will work harder to prevent “non-market actors” pilfering technology. It’s not hard to guess who they mean. (By Ed Cropley)
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