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U.S. trade body rejects Bombardier request to consider Embraer plane in Friday decision

The U.S. International Trade Commission has rejected Bombardier's petition to reopen the factual case against the C Series in order to consider newly disclosed facts about Embraer's E190-E2 jet.
Bombardier's C Series commercial jet takes off on its first flight in Montreal in Sept. 2013. The U.S. International Trade Commission says a vote on the imposition of duties on imports of C Series aircraft into United States has been put off by one day and will take place Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET in Washington, D.C. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

The U.S. International Trade Commission has rejected a petition to consider newly disclosed facts about Embraer's E190-E2 jet in its case reviewing Bombardier's C Series aircraft.

The agency made its decision a day after the Montreal-based company argued that a published report of the plane's range being 2,900 nautical miles (5,370 kilometres) qualifies it to be considered as a competitor in the 100- to 150-seat segment of the market.

"We are disappointed because we felt this was important information for the investigation," said Bombardier spokesman Simon Letendre.

The aviation publication later said Embraer disputes the 2,900 nm figure, saying the range is 2,880 nautical miles.

Boeing has argued that the Embraer plane is a regional jet that doesn't compete with the C Series or Boeing's 737.

However, Bombardier tried to argue that excluding the Embraer jet from the ITC's analysis would result in a flawed assessment of the market by only focusing on the C Series.

The USITC will vote Friday afternoon on whether duties should be imposed against Bombardier's C Series jet. That's a day later than originally planned because of the U.S. government shutdown.

The agency will determine if the introduction of the C Series into the U.S. harms Boeing.

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

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.

Bombardier spokesman Mike Nadolski said Tuesday that Boeing has been disingenuous by demanding the U.S. government ignore Embraer's role in the market while trying to buy the Brazilian aerospace manufacturer.

He said details about the Embraer aircraft, which came after the factual record closed at the USITC, "eviscerates the premise of Boeing's case."

"Boeing's previous attempts to exclude Embraer from the ITC's analysis has resulted in a fundamentally flawed assessment of the market that we believe needs to be addressed," he wrote in an email.

The U.S. Department of Commerce imposed duties of 292.21 per cent on the C Series aircraft.

The Canadian government has filed requests for panel reviews under NAFTA to appeal U.S. decisions to impose duties on imports of the C Series and softwood lumber from Canada.

NAFTA's Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism means Canada can get a panel made up of American and Canadian trade experts to decide if the duties follow U.S. trade law, rather than going through the U.S. court system.

Canada is also arguing that the entire U.S. process for imposing anti-dumping and countervailing duties violates global trade rules.

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