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Republican politicians defend Bombardier's economic impact in U.S.

Last Updated Aug 28, 2017 at 2:00 pm PST

MONTREAL – Several U.S. Republican members of Congress are urging the Trump administration to consider Bombardier’s economic impact south of the borders as it decides whether to impose duties on its CSeries plane.

Three GOP senators and two representatives from Kansas and West Virginia, along with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, sent a letter last week to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Without opposing the means to counter “unlawful activities” in international trade, the politicians said Bombardier and Boeing offer work to thousands of Americans.

Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) is active in 17 states and has more than 2,000 workers in Kansas and West Virginia, the letter said.

They added that over the past five years Bombardier has generated US$14 billion in economic spin-offs with U.S. suppliers.

The elected officials urged Washington to work with Boeing and Bombardier and the Canadian government to find a “responsible solution that acknowledges the material economic benefit both parties generate for the United States and allows their long-term positive influence on our economy to continue.”

The Commerce Department is expected to announce Sept. 25 whether to impose punitive duties on Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) filed a trade complaint against Bombardier, alleging that subsidies granted to the Quebec aircraft manufacturer had allowed it to sell its commercial aircraft at low prices.

The Chicago giant is seeking a countervailing duty of at least 79.41 per cent and an anti-dumping duty of 79.82 per cent on sales of CSeries aircraft in the United States.