Or at least fired an opening salvo in a brewing trade war with our poutine-eating brethren to the north.
In the wake of Delta’s decision to purchase up to 125 Bombardier CSeries CS100 airliners from Canadian airplane manufacturer Bombardier, the US Department of Commerce slapped a tariff on the sale of the jets of up to 219% yesterday, alleging that Canadian government subsidies allow Bombardier to sell the jets at unfairly low prices. The decision was spurred by Boeing, who states that Bombardier receives as much as $3 billion in subsidies from the Canadian government that allows them to dump the airliners on the market. The government of Quebec has also made a $1 billion USD investment in the CSeries program, giving it a 49.5% stake. The US government will have to prove, however, that Boeing was actually hurt in the deal between Bombardier and Delta, and that hasn’t happened yet. Delta, for its part, pointed out that Boeing doesn’t even sell any jets in the 100-seat range that they require following the cancelation of Boeing 717 in 2006. Boeing could be playing a dangerous game, though. The Canadian government is firing back, saying that the trade dispute jeopardizes Boeing’s effort to sell F/A-18 fighters to Canada.