UK Tries To Protect 4500 Belfast Jobs From Boeing Trade Row

Theresa May is understood to have asked Donald Trump to broker a deal between the two sides

Theresa May is understood to have asked Donald Trump to broker a deal between the two sides

May raised the case with Trump after the intervention of DUP leader Arlene Foster, the Times of London newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.

Bombardier Aerospace has warned that its C Series aircraft programme is "critical to the long term future" of its Northern Ireland operations as rival Boeing drags the North into an industrial row over subsidies.

The source, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation, said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British counterpart Theresa May would meet in Ottawa on September 18.

May's trip had been scheduled in advance, and there will be other items on the agenda, a Canadian official familiar with the matter told Reuters.

"We are as one".

"Equity infusions from government coffers not only rescued the programme but have given Bombardier the resources it needs to aggressively target the United States market", Boeing said.

"It provides a lot of employment in Northern Ireland and so she has taken a similar position to us, sending a very strong signal to Boeing that they should be listening to Canada", he said.

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'Our priority is to encourage Boeing to drop its case and seek a negotiated settlement with Bombardier'.

A BEIS spokesman said: "This is a commercial matter but the United Kingdom government is working tirelessly to safeguard Bombardier's operations and its highly skilled workers in Belfast".

Meanwhile, several USA members of Congress have come out in favour of Bombardier and urged the Trump administration to consider the Canadian company's links to jobs south of the border.

A spokesman for May said Bombardier's jobs were "of huge importance" to Northern Ireland.

But Boeing has shown no signs of backing down; Marc Allen, the president of Boeing's worldwide division, said this month that it wants to ensure a level playing field for all aerospace companies.

Tariffs could make it very hard for Bombardier to find new CSeries customers in the US.

May has the backing of the DUP's 10 MPs for her majority of 13 - as long as she keeps her end of the bargain.

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"The engagement at governmental level with Boeing and with the USA has been significant over the course of the summer because this is pivotal to the Northern Ireland economy", DUP lawmaker Gavin Robinson told the Irish national broadcaster RTE.

'We will continue our efforts to secure a resolution'.

Bombardier makes the CSeries CS100 and CS300 state-of-the-art carbon wings at a plant in Belfast.

Boeing released a statement Tuesday saying it "had to take action as subsidized competition has hurt us now and will continue to hurt us for years to come".

Bombardier called the allegations absurd.

Bombardier has criticized Boeing's complaint, calling it an "unfounded assault" on airlines.

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