Boeing-Bombardier spat puts US-Canadian trade deals in spotlight

In an unfortunate move for Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its decision to finalize the 300% import duty levied on its aircrafts.

The case stems from an April 2016 sale of 75 CSeries jets to Delta Air Lines Inc.

Labelling Boeing's complaint "meritless" and a "cover to close the US market", Mr Turner called on the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to set aside the Commerce Department's decision when it hears the next stage of the complaint in February.

The legal battle began after US aircraft maker, Boeing registered a complaint against Bombardier, claiming that the company was selling its goods at a far lower price in the United Sates.

"These investigations have already established beyond question that Bombardier has taken billions of dollars in illegal government subsidies to prop up its C Series program".

Bombardier calls Boeing's criticism an "unfounded assault on airlines, the flying public, and the United States aerospace industry", saying the entire complaint has been overtaken by events.

"Today's decision validates Boeing's complaints about the Bombardier prices in the United States, prices that have harmed our workforce and the American industry", said Boeing in a press release.

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The document "calls on the United Kingdom to provide further clarity on its position on the framework for the future relationship".

"The fact is that the CSeries simply does not threaten Boeing", Bombardier said in a statement.

The inquiry now moves to the United States worldwide trade commission, which will examine if the dumping and subsidies caused injury to Boeing.

Airbus, Boeing's European rival, reached a deal with Bombardier in October to purchase a 50.01 per cent stake in the C Series commercial jet and plans to build an assembly line in Alabama for American customers while maintaining the primary line in Mirabel, Que.

Delta is expected to wait for that new plant to open before taking delivery of their order. The trade dispute stems from a complaint by US aerospace giant Boeing against its Canadian rival that found a receptive ear in President Donald Trump, whose "America First" agenda has included taking a tough line in matters of global commerce. He says nothing justifies such duties. The case has been a sore point in U.S.

Bombardier said it turned over the Delta sales contract but can not accurately estimate the cost and price of those planes because they are being built and delivered in coming years.

Bombardier also argues that Boeing and Airbus do not compete with the CSeries because their planes are larger and have more range.

Susan Fitzgerald, the Unite regional officer for Bombardier in NI said: "This decision poses a devastating risk for the Northern Ireland economy".

  • Darren Santiago