Canada hails United States decision on Bombardier case

A Bombardier C Series jet in Delta livery. The major aircraft deal set off the trade dispute with the rival U.S. plane maker

By a 4-0 vote, the International Trade Commission ruled that Boeing, the Chicago-based aircraft maker, had not been injured by multibillion-dollar Canadian subsidies for Bombardier aircraft.

The ITC is an independent commission, appointed by the government and evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, that is charged with investigating the effects on US industry of dumped and subsidized imports.

"Those infringement have hurt the USA aeronautic trade, and we are feeling the impacts of those out of line business rehearses in the market each day".

Three months ago, with the jetliner's access to the US market in doubt, Bombardier turned to a powerful partner: Airbus SE.

The decision was a surprise for some observers who expected the commission would side with Boeing even though they believed the company sustained no harm.

NAFTA's Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism means Canada can get a panel made up of American and Canadian trade experts to decide if the duties follow US trade law, rather than going through the USA court system.

"He's got an independent hand on all of those", said Edward Alden, a trade policy expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The ruling could also affect sales of Boeing military hardware in the United Kingdom, as 4,200 Bombardier jobs in Northern Ireland could be at risk over the decision. The ITC consequently shot down the U.S. aerospace giant's pleas for 300% duties against Bombardier, a measure that received the backing of the U.S. Commerce Department last month.

Politicians also have welcomed the ruling which will stop the USA imposing 292% duties on the import of the firm's jets to America. However, Delta provided no update on its delivery schedule.

He expects the orders will flow into Bombardier now that the uncertainty of duties is resolved.

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In its statement, Bombardier said its partnership with Airbus remains on track but doesn't specify the Mobile plant. "It was obvious Boeing was trying to stretch the definition of injury pretty significantly. The only way to counter the risk created by Boeing's petition is through a new US full assembly line". Boeing had complained that Canada unfairly subsidized Bombardier, which could then sell the jets at prices below cost.

Montreal-based Bombardier declared the result "a victory for innovation, competition, and the rule of law". "The plane's going to be assembled in Alabama for the USA market, therefore it's creating American jobs", he said.

Britain's business minister, Greg Clark, also welcomed the news, saying in a statement that the British and Canadian governments had maintained all along that the case was unjustified. Bombardier says that will create more than 2,000 permanent U.S.jobs.

Another facet of the dispute is that Boeing's European rival Airbus acquired a majority stake in the C Series program. Airbus's executives said that moving production in this way should allow them to avoid the tariff.

The airline said it is pleased by the ITC's ruling "rejecting Boeing's anti-competitive attempt to deny US airlines and the USA traveling public access to the state-of-the-art 110-seat CS100 aircraft when Boeing offers no viable alternative".

While Boeing's claims of harm come as the Trump administration strikes an aggressive posture on trade, the ITC's appointees were all chosen by either Presidents Barack Obama or George W. Bush.

"There is no joint venture".

The perceived threat to Boeing wasn't so much from the current planes, which are smaller than Boeing's smallest passenger jet, but from the prospect that Bombardier would develop larger planes to compete against versions of the 737.

But the C Series has struggled in the cutthroat narrow-body market, where Boeing and Airbus sell most of their planes. Delta in December also selected AIrbus over Boeing for an order of up to 200 new single-aisle jets.

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