Published on Tuesday, September 12, 2017

PM calls Trump to try to save UK aviation jobs

Prime Minister Theresa May has asked US President Donald Trump to persuade Boeing to end a dispute which threatens jobs at the UK plant of Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier.

Boeing has complained to the US authorities that Bombardier's deal to supply 125 CSeries passenger jets to US airline Delta was unfairly subsidised by the Canadian state.

If the US Department of Commerce, which is due to make a ruling later this month, hits Bombardier with punitive tariffs, it could make it hard for the manfucturer to find new US customers for its new CSeries.

As the wings for the jets are built at Bombardier's Belfast plant, this could threaten jobs in Northern Ireland.

A UK government spokesperson told the BBC that Mrs May had raised the issue in a phone call with President Trump last week.

"Ministers across government have engaged swiftly and extensively with Boeing, Bombardier, the US and Canadian governments," they said.

"Our priority is to encourage Boeing to drop its case and seek a negotiated settlement with Bombardier."

UK business secretary Greg Clark went to Chicago to meet Boeing's chairman, president and chief executive officer Dennis Muilenburg.

Boeing has alleged that Bombardier sold 75 aircraft for almost $14m (£10.6m) below cost price. It also claimed that the Delta deal came after the regional government in Quebec effectively bailed out the CSeries programme with a $1 billion investment.

Bombardier has called the allegations 'absurd' and said the government investments 'comply with the laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where we do business'.

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