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Theresa May condemns Boeing’s behaviour in Bombardier trade dispute

The ruling by the US Department of Commerce has jeopardised jobs in Northern Ireland.

Theresa May has hit out at Boeing over the escalating US trade dispute with Belfast-linked rival Bombardier, warning its behaviour was “no way to operate”.

The Prime Minister said she was “bitterly disappointed” by the aerospace giant’s behaviour and its actions “undermined” the long-term partnership it had built up with the UK.

Boeing complained to the US authorities about state subsides paid to Canadian manufacturer Bombardier by the UK and Canada.

Its petition resulted in a ruling by the US Department of Commerce that could potentially have a devastating impact on Bombardier’s 4,200 workforce in Northern Ireland and thousands more in the 800-plus UK and Irish companies involved in its supply chain.

The department has proposed a 220% tariff on the imported sale of Bombardier’s new C-Series jets into the US – an aircraft whose wings are made in Belfast.

Mrs May said: “I’m bitterly disappointed by this news.”

“I will be doing everything I can, as the government has been, and working with both Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill – I spoke to them both today about this decision – to ensure that we can try to make sure the future of Bombardier in Northern Ireland is guaranteed and protected.”

“We have had a long-term partnership with Boeing, worked with Boeing over the years, and I think this is no way to operate in terms of such a long-term partnership.

“I would say that that long-term partnership is being undermined by this behaviour by Boeing.”

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