Belfast Telegraph

Full letter: Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill appeal to US VP Mike Pence over Bombardier-Boeing row

Michelle O'Neill and Arlene Foster have written a joint letter to US Vice President Mike Pence over the Bombardier/Boeing dispute. Read the full letter here.

Vice President Mike Pence

Office of the Vice President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

12 September 2017

RE: BOEING CASE AGAINST BOMBARDIER – IMPLICATIONS FOR BELFAST

Dear Mr. Vice President,

As the leaders of the two main political parties elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly we are writing to you to seek your assistance in addressing a very grave economic threat facing Bombardier in the region.

The US Department of Commerce has launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidies investigation into Bombardier, following Boeing’s claim that the development of the Bombardier’s C-Series passenger aircraft has been subsidised by the Canadian and British Governments. If the case succeeds this would have serious implications for the future of the CSeries aircraft and Bombardier’s Belfast operation, where CSeries wings are manufactured. Bombardier Belfast is our largest manufacturer, and a highly significant exporter and employer in this region. The value of its operations covers an extensive supply chain.

For a small economy such as ours, the significance of the contribution that Bombardier makes cannot be understated. The threat facing us as a result of the ongoing case is alarming, and goes much wider than it may immediately appear. The security of our economy has and continues to be a crucial part of our efforts in delivering peace through prosperity. At a time when we are striving to take the next steps in our work on the Peace Process, and resolve our current political difficulties, this issue creates a new and potentially critical factor.

The United States has been our friend and ally for many years. Your long term friendship has been of incalculable value in helping deliver peace and prosperity. At this crucial and sensitive time for the future we would ask you to give consideration to the implications any decision may have here.

We are copying this letter to the Chair and Chief Executive of Boeing, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and to the British Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland, Business and Defence.

Most respectfully,

ARLENE FOSTER MLA MICHELLE O’NEILL MLA

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