Trump Administration Finds A New Way To Fight With The UK
00:11, Sep 28, 2017
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The preliminary ruling upholds a claim by the Canadian company's American rival Boeing that Bombardier has been unfairly subsidised by the British and Canadian governments.
'Workers in Northern Ireland and beyond are now looking to the Prime Minister to intervene swiftly on the worldwide stage to protect their jobs'.
The U.S. imposed duties on Bombardier Inc.'s marquee jetliner after Boeing Co. complained that the Canadian company received unfair government help.
The department has proposed a huge 220% tariff on the imported sale of Bombardier's new C-Series jets into the USA - an aircraft whose wings are made in Belfast.
In a preliminary decision, the department ruled that Bombardier had benefited from improper government subsidies and proposed a 220 per cent duty on Bombardier's CSeries jets. The US tariff could cause Bombardier to pull out of Northern Ireland, risking at least 4,100 jobs.
Noel Gibson, who has worked at the Bombardier factory in East Belfast for 27 years said: "It is workers who lose out in any dispute and that's what politicians need to realise, that we suffer when commercial disputes break down".
"And this kind of behaviour clearly could jeopardise our future relationship with Boeing".
If the ruling is confirmed, and CSeries imports are found to "threaten material injury" to the United States aircraft industry, a final countervailing duty order will be issued on 8 February next year.
The Canadian aircraft manufacturer is in a trade battle with U.S. rival Boeing.
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which the Tories rely on to swing key Commons votes for the Government, has repeatedly pressed the Prime Minister over the Boeing/Bombardier issue.
"The Prime Minister has conveyed a clear message to the US President on two occasions as to the significance of the Bombardier case to Northern Ireland and to the workers who are employed here".
Sir Michael added: "Boeing stands to gain a lot more from British defence projects".
With one preliminary ruling out of the way, the Commerce Department will now turn its attention to whether Bombardier "dumped" its CS100s into the USA market by selling them below cost.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had said last week that the Canadian government would not do any further business with Boeing until the dispute was resolved, canceling a large aircraft order as a result.
"This is just a preliminary decision, so this will be a risk overhang on the program for some time", said Chris Higgins, an analyst at Morningstar.
The senior union figure added: "Mrs May needs to stand up for our members in the aerospace industry and for decent jobs and for manufacturing in the United Kingdom". "The C Series serves a market segment not supported by any USA manufacturer".
An global trade dispute with major implications for jobs in Northern Ireland is unjustified and unwarranted, the British Government said.
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