May hopes to boost Bombardier on trade mission to Canada

Theresa May has promised to do "all she can" to head off a trade dispute threatening thousands of jobs in Northern Ireland as part of her top-level talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

And they leave little doubt Trudeau's Liberal government is serious about walking away from a controversial plan to purchase 18 interim Super Hornet fighter jets from Boeing if the company doesn't stand down.

Bombardier is Northern Ireland's largest manufacturing employer, and the Canadian company is now entangled in a dispute with rival company Boeing - which has made a complaint to the US Trade Commission about alleged anti-competitive practices.

"But we won't do business with a company that's busy trying to sue us and trying to put our aerospace workers out of business".

"That's not the way the world should operate".

May said she has already made her feelings clear in a phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump, someone Trudeau also said would be hearing from Canada on the matter of Boeing vs. Bombardier.

The prime minister also appears to have left open the door of excluding Super Hornets from a future competition to replace Canada's aging CF-18s. A US trade court is due to give a preliminary ruling on Boeing's complaint on September 25. It challenges Ottawa and Quebec governments' support for Bombardier's C-series passenger jet program as unfair trade subsidies. Sajjan declined to comment. She will invoke the countries' shared history, including Canada's contribution to the Battle of Britain, as she flies to Ottawa to start preliminary talks on a post-Brexit trade deal.

A spokesman for Downing Street said earlier that Britain hopes to "use (CETA) as the basis of our own bilateral trading arrangement (with Canada) once we have left the European Union". "This is a commercial dispute with Bombardier, which has sold its CSeries airplane in the United States at absurdly low prices. this is a classic case of dumping", it said in a statement.

May's visit to Ottawa, her first to Canada and first formal bilateral talks with Trudeau, comes as the two leaders head to NY for meetings at this week's United Nations General Assembly.


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