Boeing is facing widespread criticism that it had manipulated the US trade remedy system to try to prevent a new competitor from selling in the key US aviation market
Montreal (AFP) - US aerospace giant Boeing is pulling all the stops to rebuild its tarnished image after filing a trade complaint against Canadian rival Bombardier, but Canada responded with ridicule and outrage Wednesday.
The American company launched an online, television and radio campaign to highlight its work with 560 Canadian parts suppliers it says supports 17,500 jobs while directly employing another 2,000 people, contributing Can$4 billion ($3.2 billion US) to Canada’s economy per year.
“Boeing’s partnership with Canada spans an entire century dating back to when founder Bill Boeing launched the world’s first international mail service between Vancouver, B.C., and Seattle in the Boeing C-700,” said managing director Kim Westenskow.
“Today, Boeing is the largest non-Canadian aerospace manufacturer in Canada.”
The campaign’s slogan? “Committed to Canada.”
But on Twitter, Canadians said Boeing was only “committed to ruining a Canadian company,” “committed to screwing us,” “committed to protectionism,” and “committed to destroying our aerospace industry… thanks a bunch.”
“Canada is no longer committed to Boeing,” said another online post.
Boeing’s campaign followed widespread criticism that it had manipulated the US trade remedy system to try to prevent a new competitor from selling in the key US aviation market.
Bombardier’s CSeries is the first new design in the 100- to 150-seat category in more than 25 years, and US-based Delta Airlines has ordered 75 of them.
In a complaint to the US Commerce Department that led to massive anti-dumping duties being imposed on Bombardier, Boeing accused its rival of unfairly benefiting from state subsidies that allowed it to sell CSeries aircraft at below cost to Delta Air Lines.
During a conference call for the airline’s third quarter results, Delta chief executive Ed Bastian said the duties imposed on the CSeries were “nonsensical,” and vowed not to pay the additional tariffs.
The trade row escalated to include rebukes from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who vowed to retaliate by nixing plans to buy 18 Super Hornet fighter jets from Boeing, and Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, who is worried for 4,200 CSeries wing assembly jobs in Northern Ireland.
Ahead of a Trudeau-Trump meeting Wednesday to try to iron out the trade woes, Ottawa said it would instead buy used Australian fighter jets and parts to partially replace its aging fleet, pending a competition for the full fleet renewal slated for 2019.
Bombardier, meanwhile, has noted that the CSeries rollout would generate more than US$30 billion for US suppliers and support 22,700 American jobs.