When Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau visits Washington this week, Trump administration moves to slap heavy duties on imports of Bombardier C Series jetliners will be very much on his mind. He will doubtless complain to the president that the proposed duties threaten Canadian jobs; that Boeing gets government aid too; and that the Bombardier planes don’t compete with Boeing products. The last two complaints are patently false: Boeing gets virtually no aid from the government, and the Bombardier C Series is aimed directly at the Boeing 737’s dominance of the single-aisle jetliner market. But Trudeau is right the administration’s moves will hurt Canadian jobs, for the simple reason that Canada is trying to create jobs at America’s expense. Boeing makes all of its jetliners in America and over 80% of its commercial-transport suppliers are in the U.S., so the success of the Bombardier product would automatically mean the loss of U.S. jobs — probably thousands of them. Once the trade dispute is seen in that light, it is obvious the president will not compromise with Trudeau on this issue: Bombardier’s C Series is out of the U.S. market until it stops breaking trade rules. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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