Are aspects of the Airbus-Bombardier C Series partnership illegal? Boeing thinks so. The manufacturer petitioned for a lawsuit against Bombardier, leading the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Commission (ITC) to make a preliminary recommendation in September to impose a 219.63% tariff on every C Series delivery. ITC affirmed its decision in October, noting that it believes Bombardier is in violation of a U.S. anti-dumping duty law.
A public hearing was held Monday at the ITC regarding this issue. Following the hearing, Boeing released the following statement:
“Boeing brought this case seeking enforcement of U.S. trade law, which mirrors the widely-accepted rules of international trade adopted by most [World Trade Organization] member nations, including Canada. The resulting Department of Commerce and ITC investigations are part of a longstanding, transparent and rigorous fact-based process for resolving precisely these sorts of commercial trade disputes. Today’s hearing was simply the next step in that process, as the ITC considered extensive evidence that underscored the harm Bombardier’s unlawful actions have caused the U.S. industry.
“These investigations have already established beyond question that Bombardier has taken billions of dollars in illegal government subsidies to prop up its C Series program. The C Series would not even exist at this point but for those subsidies. The investigations have also left no doubt that Bombardier used these government funds to dump aircraft into the U.S. market at absurdly low prices, millions below their cost of production and millions below the price of the same aircraft in Canada. Bombardier’s conduct is flatly inconsistent with U.S. trade law, and it has caused severe harm to Boeing, its employees and its suppliers.
“Boeing welcomes competition, but it must be competition on a level playing field. Bombardier can sell their aircraft anywhere in the world, so long as they follow the law and comply with the trade rules we have all agreed to.”
At the end of October, Boeing claimed an Airbus-Bombardier partnership would have no immediate impact on its commercial airplane product strategy. That partnership does still need to clear regulatory review, which Airbus did not at that time expect to occur until the second half of 2018.
The ITC would also make a final decision on whether or not to impose the 300% import tariff on C Series imports delivered to U.S.-based customers.