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Sep 27, 2017

Bombardier shares tumble after U.S. rules in favour of Boeing

Bombardier slams ‘absurd’ duties as U.S. sides with Boeing in CSeries fight

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The U.S. Department of Commerce has ruled against Bombardier in its trade fight with American rival Boeing over the sale of CSeries jets south of the border, eliciting a fierce response from the Montreal-based transportation giant. 

The ruling sent shares down as much as 13 per cent at the market open Wednesday.

In a preliminary decision announced late Tuesday, Commerce said it intends to impose a countervailing duty of 219.63 per cent on imports of CSeries planes into the United States.

"The magnitude of the proposed duty is absurd and divorced from the reality about the financing of multi-billion-dollar aircraft programs," Bombardier said in a statement. "Boeing is seeking to use a skewed process to stifle competition and prevent U.S. airlines and their passengers from benefiting from the CSeries."



The department ruled that Bombardier benefited from improper government subsidies. Boeing had complained that Bombardier signed a deal last year with Delta for up to 125 of the jets by offering the planes at below-market price.

"This dispute has nothing to do with limiting innovation or competition, which we welcome," Boeing said in a press release. "Rather, it has everything to do with maintaining a level playing field and ensuring that aerospace companies abide by trade agreements."

The decision on Tuesday is by no means the last step in the process. Commerce said it plans to deliver its final determination "on or about" December 19. If Commerce still sides with Boeing at that point, the matter would be handed off to the U.S. International Trade Commission for a final ruling on whether imported CSeries jets threaten the domestic industry. That ruling is expected 45 days after the Commerce Department's final determination.

"We are confident the U.S. International Trade Commission will conclude that no U.S. manufacturer is at risk because neither Boeing nor any other U.S. manufacturer makes any 100-110 seat aircraft that competes with the CS100," Delta spokesperson Morgan Durrant said in a statement.

"Boeing had the chance to compete with Bombardier for Delta's purchase ... but Boeing's only proposed alternative to the CS100 was to offer Delta used Brazilian-made regional jets."

The financial penalties aren't officially due until Bombardier delivers the first CS100 to Delta sometime in the spring. 

With files from the Canadian Press. 

 

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