U.S. secretary of commerce sides with Boeing on Bombardier dispute

Bombardier employs around 4,000 workers in the North with teams here building the wings of the C Series planes and part of the fuselage

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

Bombardier called the USA decision "deeply disappointing" and said they expect the ITC to "reach the right conclusion, which is that the C Series benefits the US aerospace industry, US airlines and the US flying public".

The US government chose to affix high anti-subsidy tariffs on the Bombardier's CSeries jets, after Boeing Co complained that the Canadian company had received unfair subsidy from their government which, it argued, allowed Bombardier to sell their new aeroplane below cost.

"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.

The agency's final tariff value dropped by roughly eight percentage points from a preliminary estimate released in September, but still counts as a massive victory for Boeing and a devastating blow to the commercial aircraft manufacturing industries of Quebec and Northern Ireland.

Bombardier criticised the near-300% duties, saying its plan of partnering with the European company Airbus to launch the CSeries assembly from a production line in Mobile, Alabama, would make it an American company.

The legal battle began after USA 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.

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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.

In order to uphold the Commerce Department-proposed tariff, the International Trade Commission must find that imports of the C-Series planes will materially hurt Boeing.

There is more information on the USA department of commerce decision here.

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

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

Bombardier argues that they wouldn't since Boeing does not make an aircraft the size of the 100- to 130-seat CS 100.

In the progress of the trade dispute, Bombardier agreed to sell a majority interest in the CSeries program to Airbus, intensifying the completion in that product category for Boeing. 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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