The Canadian government is due to cancel a $5.23-billion purchase of eighteen F-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft, in apparent retaliation for Boeing Co.’s trade-violation complaint that led the U.S. Commerce Department to investigate sales of Bombardier C-Series passenger jets to Delta Air Lines.
Prompted by Boeing Co.’s complaint, Commerce in late September declared that a 2016 sale of 75 Bombardier C-Series jets to Delta violated fair-market pricing standards, and should incur a 219% trade duty on future sales of the aircraft. Now, Commerce has indicated that an anti-dumping penalty of 79.82% should be added to the duty.
Canada’s decision to cancel the Super Hornet purchase, which is reported by several sources citing information from the Liberal Party in Ottawa, also heightens manufacturers’ concerns about the ongoing review of NAFTA. The Trump Administration has fostered doubt about its commitment to the free-trade agreement, arguing it has had a negative effect on domestic manufacturing jobs.
The same sources also indicate Canada will buy a fleet of used F-18 fighter jets from Australia’s defense forces, jets that match the models that Canadian defense forces currently operate.
The F/A-18 is a twin-engine, supersonic combat aircraft that can operate as a fighter or attack jet. It has been in service since 1983 with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, and by the defense forces of many allied nations.
The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet is a more advanced version of the original design, outfitted with 20-mm guns for combat and able to carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons.