Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

Delta Vows Not to Pay US Import Duties on Bombardier Jetliner

Delta Vows Not to Pay US Import Duties on Bombardier Jetliner

The U.S. Commerce Department has raised proposed trade duties on Bombardier CSeries jets to almost 300 percent, backing Boeing's complaint that the Canadian company received illegal subsidies and dumped the planes at "absurdly low" prices.

"We will take the planes", Delta chief executive Ed Bastian told analysts during an earnings call Wednesday. Boeing won support from President Donald Trump's administration, which ruled that Bombardier sold the planes at less than their fair market value after benefiting from government subsidies in Canada. "We will not pay tariffs that are being discussed and debated".

Questions about Delta's intentions for the C Series were raised after the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed crushing duties on C Series imports into the United States following a complaint from rival plane maker Boeing Co.

The proposed duties would not take effect unless affirmed by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) early next year.

Bastian emphasized that he does not believe Boeing suffered harm.

Britain hopes a provisional USA ruling imposing tariffs on Canadian aerospace manufacturer Bombardier BBDb.TO will not be politically influenced when new evidence is considered, UK Business Secretary Greg Clark said on Tuesday. He dismissed Boeing's arguments as "unrealistic and bit nonsensical".

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The case has fueled trade tensions between Canada and the United States, emerging as a flashpoint as the two countries try to hammer out a new continental trade pact.

"Separate discussions with Boeing related to the interim purchase of Super Hornet aircraft remain suspended". Bombardier employes more than 4,000 in Northern Ireland, where the jet's wings are manufactured.

"It doesn't make a whole lot of sense", Mr. Bastian said, adding Delta will not pay the duties. The airplane is also half produced by US aerospace companies, including United Technologies which supplies the jet's Pratt & Whitney engines.

Trudeau's office said the prime minister would "explore all options moving forward" during his talks with Trump.

Bastian said the airline is crafting "various other plans that we're also contemplating and looking at, alternatives which I will not get into" should the aircraft's arrival in its fleet be delayed past spring 2018, when the first delivery is scheduled.

"It is very hard for Boeing or any USA manufacturer to claim harm with a product that we purchased that they did not offer and they don't produce", Mr. Bastian said. "And that is very clear".

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