'Reason prevails': Quebec celebrates as Bombardier dodges sky-high U.S. tariffs
Montreal-based aerospace giant won fight against Boeing at U.S. International Trade Commission
Quebec politicians and aerospace industry officials claimed victory Friday after Bombardier won its bid to overturn huge international tariffs imposed by the U.S. on its C Series jets.
The U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. ruled that the commercial fleet Bombardier planned to sell to Delta Air Lines does not "injure U.S. industry," despite claims from rival company Boeing that the prices were unfairly low.
"Reason has prevailed!" tweeted Dominique Anglade, Quebec minister of economy, science and innovation. "Great news for Bombardier, the Quebec aerospace industry and its workers," she wrote, in French.
La raison a prévalu! Une excellente nouvelle pour <a href="https://twitter.com/Bombardier?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Bombardier</a>, l’industrie aérospatiale québécoise et ses travailleurs! ✈️✈️✈️ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/polqc?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#polqc</a>—@DomAnglade
Anglade told CBC that she's cautiously pleased with the outcome.
"This is very positive news for the Quebec economy," she said. "We were saying that the complaint from Boeing was really not justified, and that it was abusive, and I guess the ITC agreed with us."
The commission's analysis that led to the decision will be made public in two weeks, and Anglade said that will provide a better sense of the implications.
Olivier Marcil, vice-president of external relations at Bombardier, called the decision a "victory," speaking with reporters Friday afternoon in Montreal.
"They saw through Boeing's game and found their arguments were baseless," he said.
Full speed ahead on the C Series partnership! Senior Leaders from Airbus and Bombardier meeting in Montreal today to discuss integration planning. <a href="https://t.co/bwrClKtpwa">pic.twitter.com/bwrClKtpwa</a>—@Bombardier
Unions in Quebec are breathing a sigh of relief as well, knowing that the roughly 2,000 jobs associated with the C Series are safe.
"A lot of workers are going home this weekend feeling a lot more safe their jobs in the future," said union representative Dave Chartrand.
The original complaint was launched by Boeing last April, with the company arguing that governments in Canada and Britain subsidized the plane's development and allowed Bombardier to sell it at unfairly low prices.
In response, the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed nearly 300 per cent duties on U.S. imports of its C Series aircraft.
The move was struck down unanimously by the International Trade Commission.
Aéro Montréal, a strategic aerospace think-tank based in Montreal, put out a statement Friday afternoon welcoming the news.
"The CSeries aircraft uses many suppliers in Quebec, so much of the industry will be able to benefit from potential sales in the American market," read the statement attributed to president Suzanne Benoît.
"This ruling will help maintain thousands of jobs in Canada, the United States and Quebec."