Premier Philippe Couillard takes tough stance after Bombardier ruling

Sep 27 2017, 10:22 pm

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard is not mincing words in his response to the US government’s decision to place duties close to 220% on Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft.

“Boeing may have won a battle but let me tell you the war is far from over and that we shall win,” said Couillard at a news conference this morning.

News broke yesterday that the US Commerce Department was proposing a 219% tax on the Montreal-based company’s CSeries jets.

According to the department, Bombardier was benefitting from unfair government subsidies, giving the company an upper hand when selling to the US.

US aerospace giant Boeing called for an investigation after Bombardier made a deal in April 2016 with Delta Air Lines for up to 125 of its CS100s.

Couillard went on to ask Trudeau to keep a tough stance on Boeing until the issue is resolved.

“I ask the federal government and Prime Minister Trudeau to keep the hard line, a very hard line with Boeing. Not a boat, not a part, of course not a plane from Boeing entering Canada until this conflict is resolved in a satisfactory way,” he said.

In a statement, Bombardier called the proposed duty “absurd.”

“We strongly disagree with the Commerce Department’s preliminary decision. The magnitude of the proposed duty is absurd and divorced from the reality about the financing of multibillion-dollar aircraft programs,” said the company.

“This result underscores what we have been saying for months: the U.S. trade laws were never intended to be used in this manner, and Boeing is seeking to use a skewed process to stifle competition and prevent U.S. airlines and their passengers from benefiting from the C Series.”

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