Ruling to uphold Bombardier tariffs unjust: Unifor

Bombardier's C Series jet is at the centre of an international trade row
Credit
Patrick Cardinal

The fight, which has contributed to escalating trade tensions between the United States and Canada, stems from a 2016 sale of 75 C-Series jets to Delta Air Lines.

Steve Turner, Unite assistant general-secretary, said: "The US Commerce Department decision on C-Series tariffs is nakedly political and has the potential to crush jobs, not only in Northern Ireland but in the US too". Another duty of 212.39% was set to offset Bombardier's benefits from unfair subsidies provided by the governments of Quebec, the United Kingdom and Canada.

"As a result of its exhaustive investigation, the Commerce Department has calculated a final duty determination of 79.82% to be imposed on each Bombardier C Series aircraft and partially-assembled aircraft imported into the United States as a result of dumping, and an additional 212.39% duty due to evidence of foreign government subsidization".

"The United States is committed to a free, fair and reciprocal trade and will always stand up for American workers and companies being harmed by unfair imports", he adds.

Primary assembly of the C Series planes will remain in Quebec, but final assembly is to be moved to Airbus' existing manufacturing site in Mobile, Ala.

In October, shortly after the preliminary tariffs were announced, Boeing archrival Airbus took a majority stake in the C-Series program, announcing that the planes would be built at the Airbus plant in Mobile, Alabama.

The plan would create a new wrinkle because the planes would effectively be a USA product."There's no case here", Bombardier's Bellemare said, calling the complaint "ridiculous".

The decision is not necessarily final; it could be overturned if the U.S. International Trade Commission finds that Boeing did not suffer material injury as a result of the Delta sale; the ITC's final decision is expected on february 1.

The Administration's approach aligns with Boeing's long-term effort to push back against improper government subsidies to competitors, even as the company has been found by the World Trade Organisation to benefit from more than $1 billion of unfair benefits from the state of Washington.

Boeing said Bombardier hurt its chances of selling its 737 airplane in the USA, which Bombardier denies.

Bombardier doesn't deny that Delta received a good price.

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

But Boeing's trade war with Bombardier has come with a price.

The question now before the ITC is whether those improper benefits injured Boeing in the 100-150-seat market for commercial aircraft. But the panel also appeared dubious about Bombardier's claims that the CSeries and the smallest versions of the 737 do not compete against each other at all.

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