US Adds Import Duty To Bombardier CSeries, Now 300 Percent

Bombardier’s CS100 assembly line is seen at the company’s plant in Mirabel Quebec Canada is seen in 2015

The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday notched up proposed trade duties on Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) CSeries jets to almost 300 percent, affirming Boeing Co's (BA.N) complaint that the Canadian company received illegal subsidies and dumped the planes at "absurdly low" prices.

It comes after a second preliminary levy of 80% has been loaded on the sales of the aircraft manufacturer by the USA government.

The move follows complaints by Boeing that Canadian-owned Bombardier, which employs more than 4,000 people in Belfast, had dumped its C Series jets at "absurdly low" prices.

The Chicago-based aircraft giant said it welcomes the decision affirming its view that Bombardier sold the CSeries to Delta at prices below production cost to illegally grab market share in the single-aisle airplane market.

Bombardier officials, who called the imposition of a 220 percent duty September 27 "absurd", did not immediately respond to the new tariff by the U.S. Commerce Department.

The decision adds 79.82 per cent to 219.63 per cent in preliminary countervailing tariffs once deliveries to Delta Air Lines begin next year.

Montreal-based Bombardier said in a statement that the Commerce Department's decision was an "egregious overreach" and "misapplication" of trade law that is created to "block the CSeries aircraft from entering the US market".

This is on top of an earlier tariff of 220% which related to subsidies Bombardier got from Canada and the UK.

The programme is not just important to Bombardier jobs in Belfast, but also to 15 smaller aerospace firms in Northern Ireland - and dozens more across the United Kingdom - which make components for the wings.

There have been warnings in the United Kingdom that the import tariffs could threaten Bombardier jobs in Belfast.

"Ministers sat in Westminster can not shrug off the Bombardier crisis as a trade spat between Canada and the US".

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said: "The United States is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade with Canada, but this is not our idea of a properly functioning trading relationship".

Bombardier has hit out at the decision, calling it an "egregious overreach" on the part of the U.S. authorities.

Theresa May wrote to President Trump last month asking him to intervene. That argument was augmented by the Canadian government.

"We will continue to verify the accuracy of this decision, all the while doing our best to defend the american companies and their workers", said Mr. Ross in a press release.

The C-Series operation's immediate future was thought to have been secured after Bombardier signed a $5.6bn deal in 2016 to provide the aircraft.

In a separate case, the World Trade Organization last week approved Brazil's request to investigate Canada's alleged use of more than $3 billion in government subsidies to produce Bombardier aircraft.

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