Politicians, unions and businesses have given a mixed response to a US decision to impose a heavy import tax on Bombardier’s C-Series jet.
The aerospace firm was accused of anti-competitive practice by rival Boeing, which complained to the US authorities.
Boeing accused Bombardier of selling the jets below cost price after taking state subsidies from Canada and the UK.
The US Department of Commerce proposed the 220% import tax on the jets, which could hit Bombardier jobs in Belfast.
UK government on behalf of Prime Minister Theresa May
“Bitterly disappointed by initial Bombardier ruling. The government will continue to work with the company to protect vital jobs for Northern Ireland.”
Canadian government – Foreign Minister Crystia Freeland
Ms Freeland said the US tariffs were “clearly aimed at eliminating Bombardier’s C Series aircraft from the US market”. She pledged to “defend Canadian companies and Canadian workers against unfair and costly protectionism”.
US government – Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
“The US values its relationships with Canada, but even our closest allies must play by the rules. The subsidisation of goods by foreign governments is something that the Trump Administration takes very seriously.”
Bombardier – Director of Public Affairs Haley Dunne
“We obviously are very disappointed with the preliminary decision… we’ll continue through the process and we are not surprised that the petitioner is favoured at this stage, but the magnitude of the binds that are being imposed is absolutely absurd.”
Boeing – company statement
“Global trade works only if everyone plays by the rules that we’ve all endorsed to ensure fair competition, as adjudicated by independent national and international bodies.”
Democratic Unionist Party – MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson
“This would have devastating consequences on our economy if the factory was to close and we are going to do everything we can to ensure that doesn’t happen… if America is about free trade, and free enterprise it really shouldn’t be doing this.”
Unite the union – Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly
“The decision taken by the US Department of Commerce was not unexpected – unfortunately it is unlikely to be overturned by President Trump whose protectionist tendencies are well-known.”
CBI Northern Ireland – Director Angela McGowan
“The decision by the US Department of Commerce represents a challenge to the Northern Ireland economy and places an important driver of regional economic growth at risk. This just reinforces the need for the swift return of an inclusive devolved government.”
Northern Ireland Office – Secretary of State James Brokenshire
“The UK government believes clearly that the support that we have given through repayable launch investment to the C-Series project is legitimate, is lawful, is within World Trade Organisation rules and therefore that the actions that have been brought around this case are unwarranted.”
ADS – UK trade body for the aerospace, defence and security industry
“This ruling is extremely disappointing and unsettling for Northern Ireland’s aerospace industry…. The UK government must now work with the Canadian and US governments to take all appropriate steps in the coming weeks and months to find an amicable resolution to this dispute, which is not in the interests of the global aerospace sector.”