Bombardier slams ‘absurd’ duties as U.S. sides with Boeing in CSeries fight
The U.S. Department of Commerce delivered a major setback to Bombardier on Tuesday with the preliminary plan to slap 220-per-cent duties on CSeries imports into the States. While the determination isn’t set in stone, reaction from trade experts and analysts is flooding in. Here’s some of what we’re hearing:
Derek Burney, former Ambassador to the U.S.
“I think it should embolden the government’s intention of preserving the dispute mechanism in NAFTA. Because quite frankly, this is precisely the kind of arbitrary, capricious ruling by the Department of Commerce that that mechanism was intended to contain. I mean it is outlandish - a 220 per cent tariff. It's got devastating potential; it’s not what the [NAFTA] negotiations need but it does show you the arbitrary, capricious manner in which the U.S. Department of Commerce can behave.”
Philippe Couillard, premier, Quebec
“How could we justify doing business with a company that wants to destroy Canadian jobs in aerospace? I am very happy with the way Mr. Trudeau reacted until now and I know he will continue to do the same. I want to say this very clearly: I am not opposing Mr. Trudeau here. I am happy about the way he reacted, but as I said: not a bolt, not a part, not a plane until we have a satisfactory resolution.”
Kevin Chiang, analyst, CIBC Capital Markets
"A final decision is expected in Feb. 2018, so there is no immediate economic implications at this time. We believe Bombardier has made a solid rebuttal as to why Boeing's claim is without merit. That said, while we expect the CSeries sales campaign in the U.S. to stall here until the U.S. Dept. of Commerce makes a final decision, it appears the CSeries is gaining traction in the rest of the world."
Perrin Beatty, CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
“We are disappointed by this ruling, which penalizes Bombardier for receiving the same government support that other manufacturers across the globe get from their own governments. This decision will have far-reaching consequences and threatens to disrupt North America’s critical aerospace industry.”
Richard Aboulafia, vice president, analysis, Teal Group
"I think everyone involved is thinking [about the] much bigger picture. Boeing is, of course, haunted by the experience of watching Airbus rise, as effectively a subsidized compeitior, over the 70s, 80s, and 90s."
Mark Warner, principal, MAAW Law
"Don’t panic. It’s meant for the shock value. It’s meant as a message to Bombardier and, probably the government of Canada as well, to get serious."
Benoit Poirier, analyst, Desjardins Capital Markets
"We are surprised by the tariff’s magnitude and believe it could negatively impact Bombardier's marketing campaigns in the U.S.; nevertheless, we are of the view that it will be difficult for Boeing to justify its case."
Chris Murray, analyst, AltaCorp
"With the lack of a credible product in the 100 to 150 seat space, including a weak (absent?) offering in the low end of the main narrowbody market, Boeing is reverting in our opinion to alternative tactics to protect its flanks. With various stakeholders including the Canadian and U.K. governments as well as several U.S. airlines showing support, this is not an issue we expect either side to roll over on."
Dominique Anglade, Quebec minister of economy, science and innovation
"This is a preliminary response, there will be a final decision made by the DOC [U.S. Department of Commerce], but we can't be naive about this. Despite the mobilization that has been happening, this is the result. So we're going to go through the process, we're going to be presenting our perspective, our views to the DOC. But at the end of the day, the same thing that happened [with] softwood lumber, if we have to end up in that situation, that might be the route we have to take, which is going to court, which is really unfortunate."