US Trade Commission Blocks 300% Tariffs On Bombardier CSeries Planes

A USA trade body is due to make its final ruling on the Bombardier aircraft imports dispute, which could threaten around 1,000 jobs at its Belfast plant.

The ITC was asked to approve a USA commerce department recommendation to hit the Canadian company's CSeries jet with a near-300 per cent duty on sales to American carriers.

Bombardier called the ruling a "victory for innovation, competition and the rule of law".

A spokesperson for Boeing said it was "disappointed" by the ITC's decision and that it would "review the detailed conclusions when they are released".

The Chicago-based Boeing company, which had argued that Bombardier sold the Delta Air Lines C Series aircraft at artificially low prices, lamented the court's ruling.

Boeing had claimed it stood to suffer harm by the planes, even though aircraft destined for USA customers are now slated to come from a new assembly line near the Airbus facility in Mobile, Ala.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said $1.5 billion in Canadian government subsidies for Bombardier would damage US industry.

The ruling is welcome news for Bombardier's 1,000 employees in the North, and means the airline can start shipping its CSeries jets to Delta Air Lines as scheduled.

Boeing Co (BA.N), the world's largest maker of jetliners, accuses the Canadian firm of dumping planes on the US market.

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Boeing officials have said they tried to resolve their concerns diplomatically before Trump took office, to little success. Airbus agreed to take over the CSeries program after the Commerce Department proposed the duties.

A company with a commitment to build aircraft in Mobile benefited from a decision today by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The two aircraft manufacturers made their closing arguments in separate submissions that painted dramatically opposing pictures.

Immediately following the ruling Airbus tweeted: "We are happy to see that the ITC concurred with our views. This decision will support well-paying middle-class jobs on both sides of the border", she said. "That's why Bombardier is willing to lose millions of dollars per plane on this sale".

Paul Everitt, chief executive of aerospace trade organisation ADS said: "This judgement from the US International Trade Commission is positive news that will be warmly welcomed by Bombardier, its workforce in Belfast and the whole supply chain of companies in the United Kingdom and Ireland".

It's "a great, nearly stunning victory for Bombardier, given some of the comments of the Trump administration and some other people, but it strikes me as a very sound decision", he told CBC News. Bombardier says that will create more than 2,000 permanent U.S.jobs.

Canadian plane maker Bombardier scored a huge win in its ongoing trade dispute with Boeing. "If you believe Airbus and Bombardier will be able to sell a lot more aircraft through their partnership than what the current plant in Mirabel can accommodate, why not build that capacity in Alabama instead?" The Canadian government last month made a decision to purchase used F/A-18 Hornet fighters from Australia rather than buy 18 new Boeing Super Hornets.

But Boeing has argued that Airbus and Bombardier would import fuselages and wings, and simply assemble them in Alabama.

  • Ronnie Bowen