Saturday, 23 September, 2017

PM calls Trump to try to save United Kingdom aviation jobs

Boeing Co's first-quarter earnings jumped nearly 20 percent handily beating analysts' estimates and showing little impact from the 787 Dreamliner problems sending the Theresa May asks Donald Trump to intervene in trade dispute over Northern Irish jobs after pressure from the DUP
Preston Stone | 13 September, 2017, 01:03

Prime Minister Theresa May has phoned US President Donald Trump over a threat to jobs at Bombardier in Belfast from a trade dispute. The call came at the urging of the Democratic Unionist Party, whose ten MPs prop up the Conservatives' minority government.

Boeing has launched a potentially damaging trade challenge action against Bombardier, alleging it is dumping its new C-Series passenger jets on the US market.

The Prime Minister raised a court case involving US-based Boeing and Canada's Bombardier during a call to the President last week.

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.

A spokesman for May said Bombardier's jobs were "of huge importance" to Northern Ireland.

The Times report adds that May requested Trump's help at the request of DUP leader Foster, whose support May is reliant on in order to run a functioning government.

A government spokesperson said it was working to safeguard Bombardier's operations and its workers in Belfast.

Anyone seeking evidence for this useful rule of thumb need look no further than Theresa May's intervention in a simmering trade dispute between Britain and the Canadian firm Bombardier on one side and Boeing on the other.

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

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A Boeing spokesman said on Tuesday the company would not comment on a meeting between heads of state.

Boeing asked US officials to slap tariffs on Bombardier in April, accusing the company of dumping its C Series passenger jets on the USA market at "absurdly low prices".

But the DUP is certain to maintain its pressure on her.

Northern Ireland now does not have its own functioning government.

'We will continue our efforts to secure a resolution'. "Global trade only works if everyone plays by the same rules of the road, and that's a principle that ultimately creates the greatest value for Canada, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and our aerospace industry".

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

Bombardier has criticized Boeing's complaint, calling it an "unfounded assault" on airlines.

"We are very confident the United Kingdom government understands what is at stake and will take the actions necessary to respond to this direct attack on its aerospace industry".

The row could also reopen a debate over Britain's own support for Bombardier in Northern Ireland. It has also complained about a £113 million loan ($150 million) from the British government.

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