Canada warns it may cancel US jet buy over Bombardier probe

Canada warns it may cancel US jet buy over Bombardier probe

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland issued the threat in a statement about Boeing's complaint against Bombardier.

If the Commerce Department determines that Boeing's so-called dumping charges carry merit and the ITC determines that dumped and/or unfairly subsidized Canadian imports of civil aircraft into the United States harm USA industry, the Commerce Department can impose duties on the imports equal to the dollar value of the improper actions.

"Boeing admits it does not compete with exports of the CS100 aircraft, so it is all the more hard to see these allegations as legitimate, particularly with the dominance of the Boeing 737 family in the USA market", according to Freeland's statement.

The antidumping investigation will look into charges that Canada´s Bombardier receives subsidies of almost 80 percent, and could lead the US Commerce Department to impose equivalent punitive import duties. "Bombardier is very close to forcing us out of (the 100- to 150-seat market) altogether". As of now Delta remains the only US airline to order the airplane. Bombardier said its planes never competed with Boeing in the sale to Delta.

Delta agreed a year ago to buy up to 75 Bombardier CSeries planes, a deal worth an estimated $5.6 billion based on the list price of about $71.8 million.

Bombardier lawyers were in a Washington, D.C. courtroom on Thursday, arguing against the petition and saying it was "unprecedented in its overreach".

In addition to the Commerce Department investigation, the US International Trade Commission will run a parallel investigation to determine if the deal harmed US industry.

"We believe this action could have a very negative impact on airlines, the travelling public... and the aerospace industry", Bellemare added, noting Bombardier employs thousands of United States workers and buys components from USA manufacturers. The U.S. company estimates that the C Series has received government support totaling more than $3 billion.

If the ITC determines there is a threat of injury to the US industry, preliminary countervailing duties could be announced in July, followed in October by preliminary anti-dumping duties, unless the deadlines are extended.

Boeing is calling for countervailing duties of 79.41 per cent and anti-dumping charges of 79.82 per cent.

"Boeing consistently places substantial amounts of commercial and defense work in Canada and has a supply chain across all regions", Scott Day said by email Thursday evening, noting "our partnership dates back to 1919".

Lawyers for the USA aerospace giant argued Thursday that Bombardier's own words prove it was rescued financially by multibillion-dollar assistance from the Quebec government, which previous year invested US$1 billion in exchange for a 49.5 per cent stake in the CSeries.

Boeing said those purchases cut into future sales of its 737 and new 737 MAX. "If this is a case of David vs. Goliath, Boeing has cast itself in the wrong role".

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