Relief as Bombardier wins USA trade dispute, securing Belfast jobs

Ruling Due In Boeing Trade Spat; Trump At Davos: Investing Action Plan

Planemaker Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) is expected to lose a hotly contested USA trade dispute this week, a Canadian government source told Reuters on Thursday, likely inflaming tensions between the two countries as they try to bridge differences in talks to modernize NAFTA.

Delta Air Lines' plan to import Bombardier's C Series jets from Canada won't hurt Boeing, which the Chicago manufacturer had claimed, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled Friday. The Trump Administration's Commerce Department had proposed 300-percent duties on Bombardier sales in the USA, primarily to Delta Airlines.

Boeing contends that Bombardier's deal with Delta is a violation of USA trade laws against "dumping", a term that refers to selling products overseas at a lower price than they would be sold at home.

Commerce ruled a year ago that the Canadian firm had unfairly received government subsidies and sold its C series planes at artificially low prices in the United States.

How tough he talks on trade may swing markets, which became more nervous about a potential trade war after the USA imposed tariffs on imports of solar panels and washing machines, hitting Chinese and South Korean companies.

Delta, the second-largest USA airline, has been stuck in the middle of the dispute.

Bombardier had been widely expected to lose the case, which followed a complaint by its United States rival, Boeing.

"There can be no backsliding from the USA government on this decision", he said.

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Decisions made by the USITC (and by the Department of Commerce) under this law can be appealed to the Court of International Trade in New York City; that decision can be further appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The commission voted 4-0 in favor of Bombardier. It's not clear what Boeing's reaction will be to the ruling. Bombardier has countered that Boeing benefits from its own subsidies in the USA, which include federal contracts and tax breaks from state governments. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly blasted the Boeing complaint and retaliated by dropping a $5.2 billion deal for new Boeing fighters. Delta shares pushed up under 1 percent. "We will carry on full steam with our C series project... creating new jobs in the U.S".

"It's great news, it threw me off my chair, to be honest", said David Chartrand, the Quebec coordinator of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents 6,000 workers at Bombardier plants in the Montreal area.

In a statement, Boeing said it was "disappointed" by the decision.

"With this matter behind us, we are moving full speed ahead with finalizing our partnership with Airbus", the statement reads. The ruling also opens the door for Montreal-based Bombardier to woo new American customers while potentially easing USA trade tensions with Canada and the United Kingdom, where the company builds wings for the aircraft.

Airbus took a majority stake in Bombardier's C-series passenger jet programme in October a year ago, which was hoped would help the jet programme overcome the tariff ruling.

In a statement, Mr. Ross said the ITC ruling "shows how robust our system of checks and balances is".

Boeing's assertion that it suffered harm from the Bombardier sale to Delta of 75 CSeries jets drew skepticism from some trade lawyers, and protests from both the buyer and seller.

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