The decision by the EU and US to suspend tariffs relating to the Boeing-Airbus dispute is “welcome news for Irish exporters and importers”, according to Irish MEP Colm Markey.

Both parties agreed to a four-month suspension following a telephone conversation between the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden on Friday (March 5).

Lauding the move, Fine Gael MEP Markey said the decision “marks a fresh start in transatlantic relations”.

Commenting, he said: “Since I took up my role as MEP for Midlands North West, I have been calling for a common sense approach to end these tit-for-tat tariffs and I am pleased to see the European Union and United States engaging in constructive dialogue in an effort to avoid further damage to our respective economies.

Since 2019, a 25% tariff has been placed on certain Irish products, with dairy being particularly affected. With reciprocal tariffs placed on animal feed coming into Ireland, this has affected the beef, pork, and poultry sectors.

“The decision to suspend the tariffs will come as a huge relief to Irish exporters and importers.”

The MEP noted that the US has had retaliatory duties in the aircraft dispute on about €7 billion worth of EU goods since October 2019.

Meanwhile, the EU has had retaliation on about €4 billion of US goods since November.

The value of the Irish agri-food exports impacted by US tariffs alone was around €422 million, Markey said.

He said: “This decision marks a fresh start in the relationship between the US and the EU, following four years of protectionism under the Trump administration.

“I’m now calling on both sides to continue to engage constructively to find a resolution to the ongoing dispute which would provide some certainty to the Irish agri-food sector in particular,” Markey concluded.