In Brief

US imposes 300% import tariff on Bombardier

Chamber of Commerce rules in favour of Boeing over claims of illegal state subsidies

The US Chamber of Commerce has rejected an appeal against the huge tariffs it has imposed on Bombardier in favour of rival aerospace firm Boeing.

A further tariff of 80% was imposed on the import of Bombardier’s C-Series, adding to the 220% rate already introduced by Congress. Boeing has claimed that Bombardier benefited from illegal state subsidies from Canada and the UK and dumped the planes at “absurdly low” prices.

 The imposition of massive tariffs on US imports threatens Bombardier jobs in Northern Ireland: 4,000 are directly linked to the construction of the C-Series.

The BBC says the programme is also important to 15 smaller aerospace firms in Northern Ireland and, by more than tripling the cost of a C-Series aircraft sold in the US, could “also jeopardise a major order placed last year from US airline Delta”.

Reacting to the Chamber of Commerce decision, a spokesperson for Bombardier said the ruling represented an “egregious overreach and misapplication of US trade laws”.

“This hypocrisy is appalling” the spokesperson added, “and it should be deeply troubling to any importer of large, complex, and highly engineered products.”

The row between Boeing and Bombardier comes just as the UK is looking to negotiate a number of major international trade deals.

Theresa May described the original decision to impose US tariffs as “hugely disappointing”. It underscores the “defensive trade policy” of President Donald Trump as he looks to prioritise US companies as part of his America First economic strategy, says Reuters.

Both Britain and Canada have threatened to cancel contracts with Boeing and avoid buying military equipment but it is unclear how they will react to the latest round of trade tariffs.

A final ruling on the case is expected early next year.

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