In a surprise decision, the International Trade Commission has found that the aviation industry in the United States is not “materially injured” by the import of 100- to 150-seat civilian aircraft from Canada.
The decision means Bombardier will not have to pay a proposed levy of over 200 per cent to import its C Series jets to the United States.
The unanimous decision is defeat for Boeing, which had argued that Bombardier’s trade practices were illegal.
Boeing had complained to the newly protectionist US government that the Canadian firm had sold US-carrier Delta Air Lines at least 75 C Series planes at a price below their cost of production.
Bombardier had received illegal subsidies from Canadian government, argued Boeing.
“The decision is a victory for innovation, competition, and the rule of law.
“It is also a victory for US airlines and the US traveling public,” Bombardier said in a statement.
“The C Series 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.”
Partially as a result of the dispute, Bombardier entered a partnership with Airbus last year in order to bring the C Series to market in the US.
The Bombardier statement added: “With this matter behind us, we are moving full speed ahead with finalising our partnership with Airbus.
“Integration planning is going well and we look forward to delivering the C Series to the US market so that US airlines and the US flying public can enjoy the many benefits of this remarkable aircraft.”
Following the deal, the Canadian company said the C Series planes could be manufactured in Alabama, where Airbus already makes narrowbody jets.
In response, Boeing said in a statement: “We are disappointed that the International Trade Commission did not recognise 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 US small single-aisle airplane market.
“Those violations have harmed the US aerospace industry, and we are feeling the effects of those unfair business practices in the market every day.”
No American manufacturer, including Boeing, currently produces a 100-150 seat commercial aircraft, making its case hard to sustain.
Boeing added: “While we disagree with the ITC’s conclusion, we will review the commission’s more detailed opinions in full as they are released in the coming days.
“Boeing remains confident in the facts of our case and will continue to document any harm to Boeing and our extensive US supply chain that results from illegal subsidies and dumped pricing.
“We will not stand by as Bombardier’s illegal business practices continue to harm American workers and the aerospace industry they support.
“Global trade only works if everyone adheres to the rules we have all agreed to.
“That’s a belief we will continue to defend.”
Delta Air Lines, which has been caught in the middle of the dispute, welcomed the ruling.
“Delta is pleased by the US International Trade Commission’s ruling rejecting Boeing’s anticompetitive attempt to deny US airlines and the US traveling public access to the state-of-the-art 110-seat CS100 aircraft when Boeing offers no viable alternative.
“The airline looks forward to introducing the innovative CS100 to its fleet for the benefit of Delta’s employees, customers and shareowners,” the carrier said in a statement.