Airbus partner Bombardier gets favorable ruling from trade commission

A US trade panel has struck down a tariff of nearly 300 percent levied on Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier, representing a major defeat for USA aircraft giant Boeing (BA).

In a keynote address, the president is expected continue expressing grievances over how the US has been treated unfairly in foreign trade, while also asking for more foreign investment, citing recent tax cuts and deregulation efforts.

Boeing executives said they challenged Bombardier in an effort to maintain a level playing field in the global jetliner industry, which has been beset for years by allegations of unfair government subsidies.

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. On Tuesday, the administration imposed tariffs on imported solar-energy components and large washing machines.

"He's got an independent hand on all of those", said Edward Alden, a trade policy expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. This is big news in the trade world for a variety of reasons.

The commission voted 4-0 in favor of Bombardier.

Boeing was little changed at $343.22, missing out on a defense-industry rally spurred by a report that the White House wants to increase defense spending more than 7 percent in the 2019 budget.

However, the ITC said: "100 to 150 seat large civil aircraft from Canada do not injure USA industry".

Boeing launched the trade case last April, arguing that governments in Canada and Britain subsidized the plane's development and allowed Bombardier to sell it at unfairly low prices. "The USITC ruling means that good paying Bombardier jobs can stay in Canada, as there is no longer a need for C-Series production to move to the U.S". None of the planes had yet been delivered to USA airlines, although Delta inked a $5 billion deal for them in 2016.

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

"Boeing's petition in this case is unprecedented in its overreach", Lichtenbaum told the commission. "It was obvious Boeing was trying to stretch the definition of injury pretty significantly".

Boeing continued to defend its position after the hearing, despite the overwhelming nature of the ruling. "Bombardier and its innovative workforce play a vital role in the Northern Ireland economy", while NI Secretary of State Karen Bradley tweeted: "Today's unanimous decision in favour of Bombardier is great news for the company, the workforce, their families and NI - a really bright future ahead".

Faced with the prospect of huge tariff, several months ago, Bombardier announced a partnership with Airbus to build an assembly line at Airbus' facility in Mobile to make U-S built C-series planes.

Photo Bombardier and Embraer have closed the gap with Boeing's 737 models.

Bombardier said the medium-range C Series aircraft were smaller than Boeing's commercial models, and thus not a direct competitor to the Chicago-based firm. It is also a victory for U.S. airlines and the USA travelling public.

Likewise, Canadian government officials, business groups and labor leaders welcomed the unexpected verdict.


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