British Prime Minister Theresa May has reportedly asked President Trump to help sort out a trade row which threatens thousands of jobs in Belfast.
Aerospace giant Bombardier – which employs around 4,500 people in the city and accounts for 10% of the region’s manufacturing exports – is facing huge tariffs in the US over claims it was unfairly subsidised by the Canadian government.
Bombardier rejects the allegation from rival Boeing. The US Department of Commerce is expected to announce a decision on whether to impose duties against Bombardier on September 25.
However, the UK Government has been actively lobbying in the US for a compromise between the two companies amid growing concern about the potential implications for Bombardier’s Belfast operations. It is understood Mrs May raised the matter with the US president in a phone call last week.
Around 1,000 of Bombardier’s Belfast employees are involved in the making of the CSeries wings at the centre of the US-Canadian trade dispute.
Boeing filed a petition with the US International Trade Commission and the US Department of Commerce in April, alleging that massive subsidies from the Canadian government have allowed Bombardier to embark “on an aggressive campaign to dump its CSeries aircraft in the United States”.
Bombardier has rejected Boeing’s claims. Bombardier said the plaintiff is a global powerhouse that has not lost any sales as a result of Bombardier.