Delta's CEO calls USA tariff ruling on Bombardier jets 'absurd'

Delta has signed up for 125 of the new C Series

Delta has signed up for 125 of the new C Series

A complaint by Boeing has seen the US Department of Commerce propose a 220% tariff on the sale of Bombardier's new C Series jets - an aircraft whose wings are made in Belfast.

The Bombardier-Boeing trade dispute is now threatening to affect the trade relations between London and Washington.

On Sept. 27, Michael Fallon, the British defense minister, said that the punitive duties, if upheld, could jeopardize future British military orders for Boeing, which originated the complaint against Bombardier.

"I would say that that long-term partnership is being undermined by this behaviour by Boeing".

Boeing's behaviour over a long-running trade dispute "could jeopardise" its chances of receiving future contracts, the UK Government has warned. "We know they will be back at the door", he said.

Britain Prime Minister Theresa May said she was "bitterly disappointed" with the USA decision, which threatens more than 4,000 jobs in Northern Ireland.

"We won't do business with a company that's busy trying to sue us and put our aerospace workers out of business", Trudeau said in the news conference. Boeing's relationship with the British military dates back almost 80 years and involves the sale of equipment like Chinook transport helicopters and Apache attack helicopters.

Boeing said it understood the Government's concerns but claimed Bombardier was not playing by accepted global trading rules.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, an MP for Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme there would be "devastating consequences for the economy if the factory were closed".

"The economics won't make sense", a person familiar with the company's thinking said this week. Otherwise, Bombardier will have to appeal to the U.S. Court of International Trade. And he's now navigating tough renegotiations over NAFTA with Canada and is considering a free trade deal with the United Kingdom - sensitive discussions that require trust between participants to go smoothly.

FILE - This is a September 13, 2017 file photo of the Bombardier Aerospace plant in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

"The simple truth is that Bombardier created a superior aircraft that is more efficient, more comfortable, and quieter", said the company.

The Commerce Department's penalty against Bombardier will only take effect if the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) rules in Boeing's favor in a final decision expected in 2018.

Early signals are mixed for Canadian stocks Wednesday morning, after the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed duties on Bombardier Inc.'s (BBD_B.TO, BBD_A.TO) marquee jetliner.

Accusations of the subsidies were leveled by US airplane maker Boeing.

In a warning to the U.S. giant, she said: "We are very clear about the importance of Bombardier and the importance of those jobs in Northern Ireland".

Boeing accused Bombardier of "predatory pricing". Boeing employs 16,500 people in its United Kingdom supply chain and last week broke ground on a new facility in Sheffield. It has recently begun constructing its first European parts manufacturing site in Sheffield, northern England.

The Ministry of Defence stressed that existing contracts with Boeing would be honoured.

"Boeing stand to gain a lot of British defense spending".

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