Canada scraps buying 18 Boeing fighter jets amid trade dispute

07 Décembre, 2017, 01:19 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

Canada will call off a planned buy of 18 Boeing Super Hornet fighter jets after a months-long dispute with the USA defense contractor, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The same sources also indicate Canada will buy a fleet of used F-18 fighter jets from Australia's defense forces, jets that match the models that Canadian defense forces now operate.

In October, Mr. Trudeau said he warned U.S. President Donald Trump that the trade dispute was blocking "any military procurements from Boeing".

Featured image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Canada was looking to buy the Boeing aircraft as a placeholder for its fleet until a competition in 2019 to replace its ageing CF-18 jets.

The offices of Public Works Minister Carla Qualtrough and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who share responsibility for military procurement in Canada, both declined to comment.

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Speaking to The Globe and Mail in September, Boeing International president Marc Allen said the federal government should not forget that Boeing does $4-billion a year of business in Canada, with 560 suppliers and an overall impact of 17,000 jobs.

But the company's thinly-veiled threat may be futile, especially in a larger political climate where Canada and Mexico are frustrated by Trump's attempts to renegotiate long-standing trade deals.

In addition, industry sources said it remains an open question whether Ottawa will be saving money by buying second-hand Australian jets that are almost as old as Canada's CF-18s.

Investors Business Daily notes that the move appears to be motivated by a 300 percent tariff Washington slapped on sales of Canadian Bombardier Series C jets.

Boeing argued that Bombardier - which sold its new C-series commercial jets to American company Delta Air Lines - was given a competitive advantage against other companies by receiving Canadian government subsidies. Ottawa has slammed the company for not acting as a trusted partner.

Canadian officials participating in the NAFTA talks criticized the Commerce Department's tariff decision, with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland saying Canada "strongly disagrees" with the United States probes into its aerospace industry.

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