OTTAWA — Boeing is weighing in on the Trudeau government’s plan to buy used Australian fighter jets, saying it respects the decision while dispelling any suggestions it may drop its trade dispute with Canadian rival Bombardier.
The U.S. aerospace giant was primed to sell 18 of its Super Hornet fighters to temporarily augment Canada’s aging CF-18 fleet, but the Liberals are scrapping that $6-billion plan because of the trade fight with Bombardier.
The government will instead announce next week that it is buying second-hand Australian F-18s, which will fly alongside Canada’s CF-18s until a full competition to replace those planes is run in the coming years.
In a statement released today, Boeing says it respects the decision, but is disappointed that it won’t be able to create any of the work or jobs that would have come from selling Super Hornets to Canada.
It also says that it remains committed to creating a level-playing field in aerospace — a clear reference to its allegations that Bombardier has broken trade rules by selling its C-Series passenger planes at an unfair discount.
Boeing does say it will continue to look for ways to work with the government, though it’s unlikely that the sentiment will be reciprocated until the trade dispute with Bombardier is concluded, which could take years.
The Canadian Press