Boeing, which brought and both won and lost a trade case before the International Trade Commission in the United States, faced a March 22nd deadline to appeal that decision to the Court of International Trade. Boeing apparently has chosen not to appeal that decision, which is somewhat a surprising stance given their past history in appealing decisions involving military programs, notably the KC-46 tanker.
This decision not to appeal likely resulted despite Boeing winning the determination in the Department of Commerce that Bombardier did sell aircraft to Delta at below cost, because Boeing lost on the topic of damages, as the commission ruled that Boeing suffered no economic loss as a result of Delta’s CS100 order. It would be difficult for Boeing to show an economic loss for a class of aircraft in which they do not compete. It could also be complicated by Boeing’s negotiations with Embraer to potentially acquire competing aircraft in that size class to compete in the future, which demonstrates their lack of participation in the 100 seat market.
The passing of this deadline leaves NAFTA as the only other option through which Boeing could appeal the decision. This presents an interesting political situation for Boeing – which has invited President Trump to several events and with whom CEO Dennis Muilenburg has a friendly relationship. Trump has been highly critical of NAFTA, and a Boeing appeal under NAFTA might not have the right political optics, very important to the defense side of Boeing’s business.
The Bottom Line
As a result, it appears that Boeing has no viable options remaining if it wants to appeal the results of the trade case, and the Airbus acquisition of the C Series appears well on its way to an earlier that expected close.