Boeing backs down from Bombardier tariff war

Boeing's move not to appeal the ruling releasing Bombardier from punitive tariffs is a relief for the firm
Boeing's move not to appeal the ruling releasing Bombardier from punitive tariffs is a relief for the firm

The decision by US aviation giant Boeing that it will not appeal the US trade commission ruling which rejected its complaint about Bombardier’s sale of C-Series jets to Delta Airlines has been hailed as victory for common sense in Belfast where the C-Series wings are made.

The US firm gave no reason for the decision but a spokesman at Bombardier’s Quebec headquarters was clear.

“Boeing’s claim was meritless and should never have been brought,” he said.

“We are happy that it has come to an end. This is good news for the whole aerospace industry and the flying public, which will benefit from the most innovative commercial aircraft built in the last 30 years.”

The US firm had lodged a complaint with trade authorities alleging that it suffered loss over a deal between Bombardier and US airline Delta.

Boeing claimed its rival used government subsidies to slash the price of the C-Series and an initial ruling imposed a 300% tariff on C-Series sales into the US.

That decision was overturned in February when the US International Trade Commission ruled Boeing had suffered no loss.

East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson said the announcement “brings an end to this long and difficult saga”.

“The ITC’s ruling came as a surprise to many, but the decisive, unanimous decision obviously sent out a very clear message. Boeing should feel suitably chastened that their bullying approach was justly and robustly rejected.”

Jackie Pollock, regional secretary of the union Unite said Boeing’s move made it unlikely that President Trump would intervene directly to overturn the decision.

“In effect this means that we have seen off the Boeing-inspired threat to Bombardier jobs from the imposition of punitive US protectionist tariffs on the company’s C Series aircraft.

“This will come as very welcome news to the entire workforce at Bombardier in Northern Ireland.