Canada-US aerospace dispute heats up before upcoming NAFTA talks


On Friday, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that it would impose an 80-percent preliminary anti-dumping duty against importers of Bombardier's C Series 100-to-150-seat civilian aircraft following a complaint by Boeing that Bombardier allegedly priced its aircraft "millions below production cost in an illegal effort to grab market share in the U.S. single-aisle airplane market".

The U.S. Commerce Department added 79.82 per cent to 219.63 per cent in preliminary countervailing tariffs it announced last week, once deliveries to Delta Air Lines begin next year.

"Boeing is manipulating the US trade remedy system to prevent Bombardier's aircraft, the CSeries, from entering the USA market despite Boeing's admission that it does not compete with the C Series", she said in a statement.

The CSeries plane truly is one of the best planes in its class in the world; that said, with the USA market (the easiest and most profitable market to be in) out of the question, Bombardier will be competing for contracts in countries where it will be clear that Bombardier is desperate for orders, leading to a situation where rival Embraer SA is likely to be able to pick up contracts for the orders Bombardier is unwilling or unable to meet at the prices demanded by airlines which will now have additional bargaining power.

But whether or not Bombardier's jets will face import duties of 300 percent, Boeing may have lost a major sale in Canada.

Opposition Labour party member Clive Betts, representing Sheffield, said an "all-out war" with Boeing needed to be avoided and stressed that, while defending Bombardier was "crucial", nothing should be done that would compromise the possibility of further Boeing investment in Sheffield.

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He said the government "strongly disagreed " with the United States ruling and would "vigorously and robustly defend " the interests of Bombardier.

Delta said the decision was preliminary and it was confident the ITC "will conclude that no USA manufacturer is at risk" from Bombardier's plane.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the decision affirmed Trump's "America First" policy.

That said, Boeing employs over 18,000 people in Britain and are building a new factory in England.

Clark said that Boeing had benefited from United Kingdom defence contracts, and had recently invested in a new aircraft technology plant in Sheffield, and that the government was "bitterly disappointed" by the company's actions against Bombardier.

"We everything in our power to stand up for American companies and their workers", Ross said in a statement. The plane supports an estimated 22,700 jobs and Bombardier's aerospace division spent $2.14 billion in the United States a year ago, according to the company and documents seen by Reuters.