UPDATE 1-U.S., EU agree tariff freeze in aircraft dispute, says EU

(Adds more on dispute, US-UK deal, trade chief)

By Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS, March 5 (Reuters) - The European Union and the United States have agreed to suspend tariffs imposed on billions of dollars of imports in a 16-year-old dispute over aircraft subsidies, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday.

Von der Leyen said in a statement that she had talked by telephone with U.S. President Joe Biden and said both had agreed a four-month suspension and were committed to focus on resolving the dispute.

"This is excellent news for businesses and industries on both sides of the Atlantic, and a very positive signal for our economic cooperation in the years to come," she said.

The United States has tariffs on $7.5 billion of EU goods and the European Union duties on $4 billion of U.S. imports resulting from long-running World Trade Organization cases over subsidies for planemakers Airbus and Boeing.

Friday's agreement between Brussels and Washington mirrors the four-month tariff suspension agreed on Thursday by the United States and Britain.

EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis hailed the new agreement as a significant step forward.

"It marks a reset in our relationship with our biggest and economically most important partner. Removing these tariffs is a win-win for both sides, at a time when the pandemic is hurting our workers and our economies," he said. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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