Singapore, England ink Free Trade Agreement

Dm Monitoring

LONDON: Britain will suspend retaliatory tariffs imposed on U.S. goods as part of a dispute over aircraft subsidies from Jan. 1, the trade department said, describing the move as an attempt to de-escalate a damaging international trade conflict.
The decision marks the start of Britain’s divergence from European Union trade policy, coming into effect on the day its exit from the bloc’s rules and regulations is complete, and signals an ambition to forge closer ties with the United States. The multi-billion dollar tit-for-tat tariff battle between the United States and the European Union relates to a long-running row over state subsidies for aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing.
“Ultimately, we want to de-escalate the conflict and come to a negotiated settlement so we can deepen our trading relationship with the U.S. and draw a line under all this,” trade minister Liz Truss said in a statement.
No comment was immediately available from the U.S. government or the European Union. Although Britain formally left the EU in January, under the terms of an 11-month transitional exit arrangement it joined the EU in applying tariffs on $4 billion of U.S. goods in November. The measures were authorised by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) following a 2019 WTO decision to approve U.S. tariffs on $7.5 billion of EU goods.
However, Britain said it would suspend its tariffs to try to persuade the United States to reach a settlement, albeit with a warning that they could re-impose them “if satisfactory progress towards an agreeable settlement is not made”.
For its part, the EU is pessimistic about the chances of an abrupt change in policy from the United States, even as Donald Trump’s “America First” presidency comes to an end.