If you can’t say anything nice... find a nice way to say the unpleasant

Protectionism is a double-edged sword as Boeing may well find out
Protectionism is a double-edged sword as Boeing may well find out

It’s much too much temptation so I’m not event going to try to suppress the smug feeling of satisfaction around the business desk this week at the news that the Boeing baddies are not going to appeal the decision of the US Trade Commission not to impose preposterous tariffs on Bombardier’s C-Series jet.

You will recall that in February the commission dismissed the US giant’s complaint that it had suffered loss of business as a result of its Canadian rival using government subsidies to slash the cost of 75 C-Series aircraft in a deal with US-based Delta Airlines.

The ruling was a decisive move against what had been seen as a brazenly protectionist play made against the backdrop of the Trump presidency and its avowed intention to Make America Great.

Boeing declined to expand on the reasons why it’s decided to drop the cudgels though there is one possible explanation.

That is that President Trump is on the verge of dropping Boeing into a trade war with such potential for real damage that the spat with Bombardier will look like a fight in a primary school playground in comparison.

On Friday the US launched a complaint against China at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), claiming that China was breaking WTO rules in several areas to do with patent rights and by “imposing mandatory adverse contract terms that discriminate against and are less favourable for imported foreign technology.”

Mr Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on Chinese goods entering the US as a result.

‘Bring it on said’ said China, stating that it would prefer not to have a trade war while adding that it was “absolutely not afraid” of one.

Which is all well and good. Until it was gently pointed out that, yes you’re with me, Boeing does quite a lot of business with China.

In fact, the firm itself says that China represents a quarter of its total production and last September estimated that the country will buy as much as $1 trillion of aircraft over the next 20 years.

Of course, China is another battleground for Boeing in its eternal war with Airbus - which now has a large stake in the C-Series...

Shoe. Other. Foot?