Belfast Telegraph

Decision on Bombardier dispute with Boeing delayed due to US government shutdown

By John Mulgrew

A decision on whether the US will enforce massive duties on Bombardier's part-Belfast made planes has been delayed due to the federal government shutdown.

The US failed to avert a two-day shutdown, after failing to agree a budget.

As a result, thousands of Bombardier workers will now have a further anxious wait, as the US International Trade Commission has delayed a ruling expected on Thursday, over whether it will uphold an almost 300% duty on the sale of Bombardier's C Series jets to America.

It has pushed back its final determination to Friday afternoon, US time, “in light of the recent government shutdown”.

Thousands of Bombardier staff will now await to see if "some common sense prevails", it's been claimed.

Bombardier is locked in a trade tussle with Boeing, which claims it's selling its C Series passenger planes at below cost, and has been unfairly subsidised by Canada's regional government in Quebec. The US Department of Commerce has since imposed a tariff of almost 300% on sales of the C Series to America.

It employs around 4,000 workers here.

This week, Stephen Kelly, chief executive of Manufacturing NI, said: "Hopefully we will see some common sense prevail from the US authorities. If they want to protect free competition and US jobs, then removing this ridiculous tariff is essential as jobs in the Bombardier supply chain across the US depend on this."

The Government has been accused of surrendering the fight over the trade dispute after it said it expected to lose the next stage of the battle.

And during a trade union rally attended by hundreds of workers at Bombardier’s east Belfast plant last week, Unite regional officer Susan Fitzgerald said that workers here “won’t be collateral damage in a trade war”.

“The ITC decision directly threatens more than 4,000 workers and indirectly a further 20,000,” she said.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.