The U.S. International Trade Commission issued a 4-0 decision that the pricing of Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft did not cause harm to Boeing Commercial Airplanes, the plaintiff in the trade dispute. The unexpected decision does not reverse the ITC ruling from last fall that empowered the U.S. Commerce Dept. to finalize import duties of up to 300% on sales of CSeries aircraft.
“Today’s decision is a victory for innovation, competition, and the rule of law,” Bombardier announced. “It is also a victory for U.S. airlines and the U.S. traveling public.”
Boeing brought the case in September 2017, claiming Bombardier’s 2016 sale of least 75 of the narrow-body CSeries jets to Delta Air Lines comprised an unfair trade practice. The ITC agreed with the case made by the Commerce Dept. on that point, and the import duties were implemented in December.
Injuries to domestic suppliers are considered separately from trade violations, and it is Boeing’s claim of injury by the CSeries sale to Delta which led to the new ruling. Bombardier countered that the sale did no harm to Boeing’s business because Boeing had no jet design comparable to the CSeries.
“We are disappointed that the International Trade Commission did not recognize the harm that Boeing has suffered from the billions of dollars in illegal government subsidies that the Department of Commerce found Bombardier received, and used to dump aircraft in the U.S. small single-aisle airplane market,” the Chicago-based jet-builder stated.
“Those violations have harmed the U.S. aerospace industry,” it continued, “and we are feeling the effects of those unfair business practices in the market every day.”
Contemporaneous with the case, Bombardier sold a partnership stake in the CSeries to Boeing’s rival Airbus SE. The deal would result in the jets being assembled at the Airbus plant in Mobile, Ala., thereby minimizing the effect of the import duties now in place.
“The CSeries is the most innovative and efficient new aircraft in a generation. Its development and production represent thousands of jobs in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom,” Bombardier added to its statement on the ruling. “With this matter behind us, we are moving full speed ahead with finalizing our partnership with Airbus. Integration planning is going well and we look forward to delivering the C Series to the U.S. market so that U.S. airlines and the U.S. flying public can enjoy the many benefits of this remarkable aircraft.”