Bombardier expected to lose US trade dispute - Canadian government source

Decision would put 4,000 jobs in North in jeopardy

Planemaker Bombardier is expected to lose a hotly contested US trade dispute this week, a Canadian government source said on Thursday, likely inflaming tensions between the two countries during talks to modernise Nafta.

Trade lawyers and industry experts largely predict the International Trade Commission (ITC) will back the US Commerce Department's recommendation to slap Bombardier's CSeries with a near 300-per cent duty on sales to American carriers on Friday.

This is the first time a Canadian official has acknowledged that is the most likely outcome.

Boeing, the world's largest maker of jetliners, accuses the Canadian firm of dumping the planes in the US market. An ITC spokeswoman declined to comment.


“We think Bombardier is going to lose because the process is designed that way,” said the Canadian source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

“It is not a multilateral or independent or unbiased tribunal. It’s an American tribunal,” the source added.

Bombardier, which employs 4,000 people making parts for the CSeries in Belfast, was not immediately available for comment.

Other industry experts, however, argue the ITC could still side with Bombardier, which has struck a deal with Airbus SE to give the European planemaker a majority stake in the CSeries.

Role of DUP

The fate of the CSeries and the well-paid jobs associated with the plane is important both to Ottawa and the British government. It is considered significant that the DUP, which is helping to keep Theresa May in power as prime minister, is particularly concerned about job losses in the North.

Mrs May spoke to US president Donald Trump on Thursday and reiterated the importance of the Bombardier jobs in the North, her office said.

– Reuters