American skies open to C Series after Bombardier win against Boeing

MONTREAL — The skies over the world’s largest aerospace market have opened to Bombardier’s C Series aircraft after it won a resounding victory Friday against Boeing Co.

U.S. International Trade Commissioners voted 4-0 that Boeing didn’t suffer harm from prospective imports of C Series planes.

Boeing launched the trade case last April, arguing that governments in Canada and Britain subsidized the plane’s development and allowed Bombardier to sell it at unfairly low prices.

The decision eliminates nearly 300 per cent in duties imposed by the Department of Commerce.

“Today’s decision is a victory for innovation, competition, and the rule of law,” the Montreal-based manufacturer said in a news release moments after the vote was announced.

The decision was a surprise to many observers who expected the commission would side with Boeing even though they believed the company sustained no harm. Even one government official said Ottawa wouldn’t be surprised by a loss.

Several commentators said the ruling restores the commission’s credibility because it wasn’t moved by political calculations or pressure from President Donald Trump’s protectionist rhetoric.

The decision caused Bombardier’s stock to shoot up to its highest level in three years. Shares gained more than 15 per cent after the ruling, closing at $3.54.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland welcomed the decision.

“Canada-United States trade is important to the prosperity of both our countries. This decision will support well-paying middle-class jobs on both sides of the border,” she said in a statement.

Chicago-based Boeing said it is disappointed by the decision but will review the commission’s detailed opinions when they are released in the coming days.

“We are disappointed that the International Trade Commission did not recognize the harm that Boeing has suffered from the billions of dollars in illegal government subsidies that the Department of Commerce found Bombardier received and used to dump aircraft in the U.S. small single-aisle airplane market,” it said in a statement.

Boeing said it will continue to document any harm to Boeing from illegal subsidies and dumping pricing.

“We will not stand by as Bombardier’s illegal business practices continue to harm American workers and the aerospace industry they support. Global trade only works if everyone adheres to the rules we have all agreed to. That’s a belief we will continue to defend.”

Boeing could appeal or launch a new petition if the C Series are delivered to the U.S. from the Quebec assembly plant, but observers say that would be a mistake.

“I think it’s cost them too much in terms of reputation and actually in terms of defence orders for them to appeal,” said Ernie Arvai, a partner at U.S. commercial aviation consultancy AirInsight.

Canada’s largest union responded to the ruling by calling on Bombardier to abandon its plans to build a second assembly line in the southern United States.

“Common sense should now trump because there’s absolutely no reason now for the C Series to satisfy the U.S. market be built in Mobile, Ala,” Unifor president Jerry Dias told reporters.

“Today is a huge victory for one of Canada’s most important industries and as a Bombardier employee I’m absolutely thrilled and dumbfounded that this decision actually came down.”

Bombardier spokesman Simon Letendre said the company and Airbus will proceed with the construction of the second assembly line for the U.S. market.

McGill University professor Karl Moore said building the plant is the right move.

He expects the orders will flow into Bombardier now that the uncertainty of duties is resolved.

“The U.S. is wide open to sell a lot of C Series,” he added.

But Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group said he doesn’t believe the ruling will unleash a torrent of orders because so few American airlines ordered the C Series even though it has been available to purchase for a decade.

“You could make an argument that the combination of Airbus ownership and the end of this trade complaint might serve as a catalyst but I’m not aware of a whole lot of outstanding U.S. requirements for a plane of this class.”

Delta Air Lines Inc. said it looks forward to introducing the CS100 to its fleet. The airline ordered 75 CS100s that were slated to be delivered starting this fall from Mirabel, Que. It has vowed to wait until the new assembly line is built.

“Delta is pleased by the U.S. International Trade Commission’s ruling rejecting Boeing’s anti-competitive attempt to deny U.S. airlines and the U.S. travelling public access to the state-of-the-art 110-seat CS100 aircraft when Boeing offers no viable alternative,” it said in a news release.

Just Posted

Spring book sale this weekend in Red Deer

Red Deerians can get lost in a world of inexpensive books this… Continue reading

Central Alberta wildlife rehab facility not prepared to take orphaned bear cubs, yet

It’s been about eight years since the Medicine River Wildlife Centre was… Continue reading

Regional sewage line moving ahead despite concerns

Cost sharing among concerns of municipalities involved in Sylvan Lake-to-Red Deer sewage line

Red Deer family who lost everything in house fire begin rebuilding

Couple had moved into north-end home only two days before basement fire

Tory Leader Andrew Scheer says he doesn’t feel betrayed by Maxime Bernier

MONTREAL — Andrew Scheer says he doesn’t feel betrayed by former Tory… Continue reading

WATCH: Fine wine and food at Red Deer College

The Red Deer College Alumni Association hosted its 14th annual Fine Wine… Continue reading

Supreme Court ruling corks B.C. vintners’ hopes for free trade of Canadian wines

VANCOUVER — The Supreme Court of Canada ruling upholding interprovincial trade laws… Continue reading

Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with U.S. government

Disgraced cyclist reached $5-million settlement with sponsor U.S. Postal Service

Montreal couple hoping city lets them keep beloved pet pig named Babe

MONTREAL — Babe the pig spends his days sleeping, going for walks… Continue reading

WATCH: This is a story about a stoned raccoon at a fire station

An unusual pair showed up in the pre-dawn hours at Fire Station… Continue reading

Plastic makers’ credit ratings may be hit by pollution rules

Plastic packaging makers may be less credit-worthy in the future as governments… Continue reading

Black Press Media acquires two new Alaska newspapers

New Media Investment Group to acquire the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal while Black Press Media takes on daily newspapers in Juneau and Kenai Alaska

‘Dining of the future’: vegan restaurant boom fuelled by meat eaters

Foodies say Canada is in the midst of a renaissance in plant-based… Continue reading

Northbound QEII traffic to return to northbound lanes as contruction continues south of Red Deer

Though the Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange still has months until completion, some… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month