Government shutdown delays USITC vote on Bombardier C Series one day

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

January 24, 2018   by Ross Marowits

MONTREAL — The US government shutdown has delayed a decision on whether duties should be maintained against Bombardier’s C Series jet.

The US International Trade Commission says the vote has been put off by one day and will take place Jan. 26 at 2:30 p.m. in Washington, DC.

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 US 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.

The vote will come a few days after Montreal-based Bombardier petitioned the USITC to “reopen the record” to consider Embraer’s new E190-E2 jet as a competitor.

Boeing has argued that the plane’s range below the 2,900-nautical-mile threshold that qualifies it as a regional jet that doesn’t compete with the C Series or Boeing’s 737.

But Embraer recently confirmed that the plane is capable of carrying at least 100 passengers more than 2,900 nautical miles. Bombardier says that qualifies for it to be considered in the evaluation of Boeing’s petition because it would compete in the 100- to 150-seat segment of the market.

Bombardier spokesman Mike Nadolski says 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 US Department of Commerce imposed duties of 292.21% on the C Series aircraft.

The Canadian government has filed requests for panel reviews under NAFTA to appeal US 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 US trade law, rather than going through the US court system.

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

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