The U.S. Commerce Department has slapped preliminary anti-subsidy duties on Bombardier’s CSeries jets after rival Boeing accused Canada of unfairly subsidizing the aircraft. As Laura Frykberg reports, the move is likely to strain trade relations between the neighbours and cause problems in Britain where Bombardier’s Northern Ireland factory employs thousands.
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LONDON — U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said she was “bitterly disappointed” with the U.S. government’s decision to slap duties of almost 220 percent on Bombardier’s C series aircraft, which threatens more than 4,000 jobs in Northern Ireland.
May took to Twitter to vow she’ll work with the Montreal-based company to protect jobs. The prime minister had previously lobbied President Donald Trump after U.S. aircraft maker Boeing alleged that Bombardier used unfair government subsidies to sell planes at artificially low prices. May has a key alliance with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party to support her minority government in Parliament.
Defense Secretary Michael Fallon warned Boeing that its behavior “could jeopardize,” future U.K. defense contracts.
But unions accused the prime minister of failing to protect workers. Ross Murdoch, the GMB union’s national officer, said the ruling was a “hammer blow” to Belfast, where Bombardier makes aircraft wings and fuselages.
“Theresa May has been asleep at the wheel when she could and should have been fighting to protect these workers,” Murdoch said. “It’s high…