Belfast Telegraph

Government 'must up the ante' for Bombardier, says DUP's Robinson

By Jonathan Bell

DUP MP Gavin Robinson has said it is time for the UK government to "up the ante" over the ongoing trade dispute between the US and Bombardier.

The US Government slapped another tariff on imports of the Canadian company's C Series planes effectively quadrupling the price. Wings for the plane are built in Belfast and Bombardier has said the future of operations in Northern Ireland is dependent on its success.

East Belfast MP Robinson is to raise the matter in the Commons on Monday. He said it was time the UK Government "stepped up to the plate".

"It's important we find out what [government] plans are," he told the BBC.

"This additional tariff taking up to 300% is now unprecedented in terms of how US treats trading a partner which is Canada. That will have huge impacts for us in Belfast and for the Northern Ireland economy."

He described comments made over the weekend from the US Commerce Secretary as "bewildering" as they did not "chime with what we have been told".

"The government has been very clear that by proceeding with this - that is beyond February - it will have a detrimental impact on their relationships.

"Doesn't take rocket scientist to work out changing relationship will have detrimental impact on Boeing. My job today is to get some further colour around that."

He added: "I have been engaged with government since start of summer, we have had stage one of this process and this runs until February.

"I will be seeking commitment that the government are not only with us but indeed up the ante - that is what I have seen from the US Department of Commerce, they are very much behind Boeing.

"Both the UK and Canada need to step up to the plate.

"This is not something that will be dealt with today but we can't wait until February.

"We want government to demonstrate how they will support bombardier and how they will respond to this protectionist position the US Government has taken as that will not just affect bombardier but global trade for everyone."

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