Prime Minister Theresa May has raised Bombardier during talks with US president Donald Trump just a day before a crucial decision on its dispute with Boeing.
Amid criticism of her Government’s failure to take seriously the scale of the threat to the Canadian firm and the jobs of thousands of workers in Belfast,Mrs May raised the case with Mr Trump as the US International Trade Commission prepares to vote on the matter later today.
Bombardier faces crippling tariffs on the sale of C Series aircraft in the US if the ITC upholds the Boeing complaint that price cutting by Bombardier harmed the US giant’s domestic sales.
“The two leaders began by discussing Bombardier, with the PM reiterating the importance of the company’s jobs in Northern Ireland,” said a spokesman of the talks aimed at setting a date for an official visit to the UK by Mr Trump.
The development comes as US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talked up future trade between the two countries as the US delegation arrived at Davos.
Mr Mnuchin said Britain would still be at the “front of the queue” for a bilateral free trade deal following the exit from the European Union.
In Belfast, Alliance MLA echoed union Unite criticism of the Government following a BBC Spotlight programme in which it emerged it submitted just four pages of legal argument to the ITC.
Stating that the broadcast had raised questions about the response to an action that placed thousands of jobs at risk he said: “There was a clear expectation the UK Government would insert themselves forcibly into this process, as they have done in other such disputes affecting jobs in England.
“They have a duty to fight for jobs in Northern Ireland and we need to ensure they leave no stone unturned in doing so.”