Business Irish

Saturday 23 February 2019

Relief for 1,000 workers in Belfast as US jet tariff overturned

The Bombardier plant in Belfast
The Bombardier plant in Belfast

Alan Tovey

Thousands of UK jobs - including 1,000 in Belfast - are safer after a US court overruled proposals to place huge import levies on Bombardier airliners that are partly built in Northern Ireland.

America's International Trade Commission (ITC) overturned a decision to impose 292pc trade tariffs on the C-Series jets, which are being sold to US airline Delta.

The levies would have massively ramped up the cost of the 75 aircraft and likely caused Delta to cancel the contract.

But, in a surprise ruling, the ITC rejected a complaint brought by Boeing, voting 4-0 in favour of Bombardier.

The court rejected Boeing's claims that it suffered injury in the case.

The ITC had widely been expected to side with Chicago-based Boeing, the world's largest maker of jet airliners, which accused Bombardier of dumping the planes, or selling them below cost, in the US market.

Bombardier called the ruling a "victory for innovation, competition and the rule of law".

In a statement, the company added: "The C-Series development and production represent thousands of jobs in the US, Canada and the UK. With this matter behind us, we look forward to delivering the C-Series to the US market so that American airlines and the public can enjoy the many benefits of this remarkable aircraft."

The Unite union said Bombardier staff in Northern Ireland were "breathing a massive sigh of relief that the ITC had seen through Boeing's baseless complaint". Steve Turner, Unite assistant general secretary, said:"The C-Series is a world-beating aircraft made by world-class workers. There can be no backsliding from the US government on this decision."

Boeing said it was "disappointed the ITC did not recognise the harm that Boeing has suffered from the billions of dollars in illegal government subsidies that the department of commerce found Bombardier received and used to dump aircraft in the US".

The US aerospace giant warned it would not "stand by as Bombardier's illegal business practices continue to harm American workers and the aerospace industry they support".

Irish Independent

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