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June 25, 2024
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Reuters reports that the ITC is moving forward with its investigation against Bombardier.   This means that the Canadian side will also start to make its own moves to retaliate.  Coming after the dairy and softwood issues, the aircraft issue is not going to be politely dealt with.

The ITC decision is not a big shock.  Canada has been on hammered twice this year already.  As the linked Reuters story indicates Canada is not without options.  If Canada responds to protect Bombardier, as it appears willing to do, then it is possible the response will be to inflict costs on Boeing.  These costs will be done in a way to ensure no or minimal impact on Canada’s airlines that are Boeing customers.   But the CF-18 replacement is another matter.  This deal has a significant value.  Finding an alternative to the Super Hornet is not impossible.  Canada’s fighter needs are not unique.  The Rafale and Gripen, for example, both could probably perform the task.  No doubt both those suppliers have been making calls to Ottawa.  This is an opportunity not to miss, and is probably a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

As we can see from the WTO fight, these arguments take a long time and only enrich the lawyers.  By going to the US Department of Commerce Boeing made an interesting move.  Boeing has support in DC.  But as the investigation moves ahead, the many US suppliers to the CSeries program are going to come out on the Bombardier side.  About 50% of the program is US-sourced.

Then there is the other thing in commercial aviation.  All the OEMs fight to win orders.  That is just how it is.  The market is tough and the protagonists use the resources they can muster.   Deals done years ago can come back to haunt.

author avatar
Addison Schonland
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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