US backs 300 percent in duties on Bombardier after Boeing complaint

Last Updated: Sat, Oct 07, 2017 15:46 hrs
The fuselage of a Bombardier 350 Challenger jet is seen on display for attendees to view at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills

WASHINGTON:  The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday moved to impose trade duties of nearly 300 percent on sales of Bombardier Inc CSeries jets in the United States, prompted by Boeing Co's complaint that the Canadian company received illegal subsidies and dumped the planes at "absurdly low" prices.

The Commerce Department proposed a 79.82 percent antidumping duty after a preliminary finding that the jets were sold below cost to Delta Air Lines Inc in 2016. That adds to the 219.63 percent duty for subsidies announced last week.

The new proposed penalty, which would not take effect unless affirmed by the U.S. International Trade Commission early next year, is nevertheless expected to heighten trade tensions between the United States, Canada and Britain, where wings for the Bombardier jetliner are made.

The total duty was well above the 80 percent duty Boeing sought in its complaint.

After the first duty was announced on Sept. 26, Canada and Britain threatened to avoid buying Boeing military equipment, saying duties on the CSeries would reduce U.S. sales and put thousands of Bombardier jobs in their countries at risk.

The duty would apply to the cost of CSeries planes imported to the United States, effectively keeping it out of the market.

Bombardier shares were last down 0.5 percent to C$2.18.

Boeing hailed the decision. "These duties are the consequence of a conscious decision by Bombardier to violate trade law and dump their CSeries aircraft to secure a sale," the Chicago-based plane maker said in statement.

Echoing remarks from its statement last week, Delta noted the decision was preliminary and said it was confident regulators "will conclude that no U.S. manufacturer is at risk" from Bombardier's plane.

Bombardier and Canada's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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