Trudeau: Canada could stop dealing with Boeing over dispute

TORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday his government could stop doing business with Boeing if the U.S. company doesn’t drop a trade complaint against Canadian plane maker Bombardier.

Trudeau said Canada “won’t do business with a company that’s busy trying to sue us and put our aerospace workers out of business.”

Canada had been in talks to purchase 18 Super Hornet fighter jets from U.S. aerospace giant Boeing, but those have been on hold because of the Bombardier dispute. Trudeau’s comments are Canada’s strongest yet.

Chicago-based Boeing’s complaint claims Bombardier’s new C Series passenger aircraft receives Canadian government subsidies that give it an advantage internationally.

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The complaint prompted a U.S. Commerce Department anti-dumping investigation that could result in penalties for Bombardier. A preliminary decision is expected next week and a final decision could include financial penalties.

Boeing spokesman Scott Day took issue with Trudeau, saying Boeing is not suing Canada.

“This is a commercial dispute with Bombardier, which has sold its C Series airplane in the United States at absurdly low prices, in violation of U.S. and global trade laws. Bombardier has sold airplanes in the U.S. for millions of dollars less than it has sold them in Canada, and millions of dollars less than it costs Bombardier to build them,” Day said in an emailed statement.

“This is a classic case of dumping, made possible by a major injection of public funds.”

Trudeau spoke during a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Bombardier is also a major employer in Northern Ireland, with over 4,000 workers in Belfast. May said she brought up the issue with U.S. President Donald Trump in a telephone call recently and said she’ll reiterate Bombardier’s importance to Northern Ireland when she meets with Trump this week.

Boeing petitioned the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission to investigate subsidies of Montreal-based Bombardier’s C Series aircraft. Boeing says Bombardier has received more than US$3 billion in government subsidies that let it engage in “predatory pricing.”

Brazil has also launched a formal complaint to the World Trade Organization over Canadian subsidies to Bombardier. Sao Paolo-based Embraer is a fierce rival of Bombardier’s.

The Quebec government…

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