Bombardier plane

Boeing-Bombardier faceoff escalates further

The ongoing saga between the Montreal-based transportation giant Bomabardier and the comparably large Boeing has escalated a step further.

Friday afternoon, the U.S. Department of Commerce once again sided with its domestic company, which had launched a complaint against Bombardier over allegations that it was dumping its aircrafts into the United States. Now, the Commerce Department is mandating that all U.S.-bound imports of the CSeries jets will face a 79.2 per cent anti-dumping duty.

This duty follows the announcement last week that Bombardier was being given a 220 per cent duty in response to its use of countervailing subsidies. It was quick to fight back against Boeing for that accusation, calling it "absurd and divorced from the reality about the financing of multibillion dollar aircraft programs."

Boeing's anti-Bombardier crusade dates back all the way to April when it filed a petition with the Department of Commerce to investigate Bombardier on the grounds of dumping its aircrafts, and, in the case of Delta, trying to sell them at an "absurdly low price."

Together, the two duties essentially amount to a tripling of prices for the CSeries passenger jets—a result that far outpaces the 80 per cent Boeing requested. Should the duties be finalized, which would require Boeing to prove its case to the International Trade Commission, it could price Bombardier out of the U.S. market altogether—a consequence that won't even benefit America.

"Boeing's complaint and the Commerce Department's response constitute an abuse of process that will penalize not only Bombardier but also American workers and travellers and the American airline companies that will be forced to accept higher prices or inferior products," said Canadian Chamber of Commerce President Perrin Beatty.

As some have pointed out, the entire thing reeks of political motivation.

"This is all about politics now," said David Madani, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics in Toronto. "It clearly shows that the U.S. Commerce Department, and the U.S. administration more generally, has got it in for Canada.