Thousands of jobs in Northern Ireland could be at risk after the US Department of Commerce ruled against Bombardier in the company’s dispute with Boeing.
The latter had complained that the former had received unfair state subsidies from both the UK and Canada, helping it secure a major order. In response, an interim tariff of 219.63% has been proposed on the import of Bombardier’s C-Series jet to the US.
“The US values its relationships with Canada but even our closest allies must play by the rules,” says US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross. “The subsidisation of goods by foreign governments is something that the Trump administration takes very seriously and we will continue to evaluate and verify the accuracy of this preliminary determination.”
Bombardier said it strongly disagreed with the “absurd” decision.
The wings for the C-Series are manufactured at Bombardier’s Belfast plant, with about 1,000 jobs linked to the aircraft. Concerns have been raised that the ruling could lead to the company questioning its presence in the country where it employs more than 4,000 staff across four sites.
A number of aerospace businesses across the UK, which make components for the wings, could also be affected.