Bombardier fights back after new duty put on CSeries sales to US

Further tariff of 80% imposed on import of C-Series

The US Commerce Department has raised the proposed duties on aircraft produced by Canada's Bombardier to almost 300 percent over Boeing's complaints of illegal subsidies and dumping.

Canadian-owned multinational Bombardier, which employs more than 4,000 people in Belfast, has been hit by a proposed 80% levy on exports to its southern neighbour, the US Department of Commerce has confirmed.

The US is seeking to impose even more tariffs on Bombardier's aircraft, which are built in Northern Ireland, proposing hiking trade duties on the C-Series to nearly 300pc.

The spiralling cost, which could more than triple the price of the jets sold in the U.S. could also threaten the order for over 75 aircraft from Delta Airlines.

Bombardier has said it strongly disagrees with the preliminary decision, with a final ruling in the case due next year. The chair of the International Trade Committee this week wrote to the secretary of state for greater clarity on the Bombardier situation, asking whether the decision suggests the USA "is taking a more protectionist stance to international trade".

The department began an antidumping investigation of Bombardier in response to a petition from Boeing, which has complained its rival dumped the planes at "absurdly low" prices.

"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", said U.S. commerce secretary Wilbur Ross.

"We will.do everything in our power to stand up for American companies and their workers", Ross said in a statement.

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The additional hike is likely to intensify already-strained relations between the United Kingdom and U.S., after the Government last week threatened a trade war over the penalties.

A Bombardier union said it wasn't surprised by the new duty given the 48 per cent increase in the number of dumping allegations since the Trump administration took office.

The key decision likely won't come, however, until the U.S. International Trade Commissions decides whether the Bombardier-Delta deal actually hurt Boeing's business, a decision that's not expected until early February.

Boeing says it is the world's largest manufacturer of military aircraft.

Rival ATR, the market leader in turboprops, has also secured a provisional order for 50 ATR 72-600 aircraft, worth over $1.3 billion at list price, from Indigo, India's biggest airline by market share.

Bombardier has already said that its spending supports 22,700 jobs in the United States, and it has identified major CSeries suppliers such as Connecticut-based engine maker Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, and Iowa-based avionics maker Rockwell Collins Inc.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and May are appealing directly to U.S. President Donald Trump.

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