ombardier’s CEO Alain Bellemare speaks to the media at the company’s center of excellence last month in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

ombardier’s CEO Alain Bellemare speaks to the media at the company’s center of excellence last month in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Bombardier’s Bellemare says Alabama assembly line is needed with or without duties

MIRABEL, Que. — Bombardier Inc. needs an Alabama assembly line regardless of whether the United States proceeds with massive duties on imports of the company’s C Series commercial jets, CEO Alain Bellemare said Thursday.

Bellemare said he was disappointed but not surprised by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision Wednesday to impose duties of 292.21 per cent.

“There’s disappointment because in my opinion nothing justifies this decision but the most important decision will be the USITC’s,” he told The Canadian Press.

A final decision rests with the U.S. International Trade Commission, which is expected to decide in February whether Boeing was harmed by the C Series.

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

Airbus, Boeing’s European rival, reached a deal with Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) in October to purchase a 50.01 per cent stake in the C Series commercial jet and plans to build an assembly line in Alabama for American customers while maintaining the primary line in Mirabel, Que.

Bellemare said the Alabama facility is crucial to a deal Bombardier has to provide Delta Air Lines with 75 CS100 planes.

“What was clear for us is that adding an American assembly line to make the product (the C Series) American was a solution that allowed us to secure the Delta order,” Bellemare said in the end-of-the-year interview.

Bombardier says the new Alabama assembly line will bring about $300 million in new foreign direct investment and add 400 to 500 direct jobs on top of the almost 23,000 supported by the C Series through its supply base.

Delta was originally expected to receive the first of its firm order for 75 CS100 planes next spring, but now plans to wait until the aircraft destined for U.S. customers is built in the U.S. south.

Some observers believe Boeing’s complaints are unfounded because the CS100 is not a direct rival of anything Boeing makes.

Bellemare said he believes Bombardier has a “real chance” of winning the dispute but that he still “anticipates the worst.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The future of Westerner Park continues to be plagued by many unknowns, including when city council will make a decision about financing its operations. (File photo by Advocate staff).
Red Deer city council delays making decision on Westerner Park financing

It will mean missing the next opportunity to apply for a provincial loan

Nineteen-year-old Amanda enjoys a ride during a visit to Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler. photo submitted
Busy days at Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler

The ranch, which launched operations last summer, provides support through animal interaction

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer at the announcement that the city will be getting a drug treatment court Thursday. Jason Luan, associate minister of mental health and addictions, looks on.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Veer concerned about rising COVID-19 cases in Red Deer

The City of Red Deer is reminding citizens to protect themselves against… Continue reading

Rode
Volunteering played major role in RDC awards

Under normal circumstances, the RDC Red Deer Bottling Athlete of the Year… Continue reading

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Thursday that the province has seen its first case of the B.1.617 variant. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears record number of active COVID-19 cases

Alberta reports 1,857 new cases of COVID-19, 1,326 new variants

Curtis Labelle (second from left) and his band are planning a cross-Canada tour in 2022. Meanwhile, Labelle is continuing to host his weekly livestreamed talk show, Chattin 88. (Contributed photo).
Red Deer rock pianist takes on a talk show role

Curtis Labelle’s Chattin 88 gets views from around the globe

A passenger from Air India flight 187 from New Delhi arrives at Pearson Airport in Toronto on Wednesday April 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canada to suspend flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days

Canada to suspend flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days

Inter Pipeline's Heartland Petrochemical Complex in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. is shown in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Inter Pipeline *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Hostile takeover target Inter Pipeline reports 60% of Heartland plant is contracted

Hostile takeover target Inter Pipeline reports 60% of Heartland plant is contracted

Smoke pours from the stacks at the Portlands Energy Centre in Toronto on Thursday January 15, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Risk experts say climate change to take big chunk of Canadian economy by 2050

Risk experts say climate change to take big chunk of Canadian economy by 2050

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40 to 45 per cent by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40 to 45 per cent by 2030, short of U.S. goal

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Alberta bill would protect health workers, care homes from some COVID-19 lawsuits

The bill proposes exempting a range of workers, including doctors, pharmacists and care-home operators, from being sued over COVID-19 unless it was for gross negligence

In this Nov. 5, 2004 file photo, the logo of Kansas City Southern is down on a restored 1954 Kansas City Southern passenger locomotive at Union Station in Kansas City, Mo.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Norman Ng/The Kansas City Star via AP
War of words heats up in battle between Canadian railways for Kansas City’s KCS

War of words heats up in battle between Canadian railways for Kansas City’s KCS

A street sign along Bay Street in Toronto's financial district is shown on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
North American stock markets fall on report of near doubling of U.S. capital gains

North American stock markets fall on report of near doubling of U.S. capital gains

FILE - In this Friday, April 22, 2016 file photo, Argentine writer Mariana Enriquez poses for a portrait in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Books from Europe and Latin America that blur the boundaries of fiction, history and memoir are the final six contenders for the 50,000 pound ($69,000) International Booker Prize. On the shortlist is imaginative short-story collection “The Dangers of Smoking in Bed” by Argentina’s Mariana Enriquez. (AP Photo/Leandro Teysseire, File)
Inventive books make final 6 for International Booker Prize

Inventive books make final 6 for International Booker Prize

Most Read