Couillard urges Ottawa: Take hard line against Boeing
Published Wednesday, September 27, 2017 10:13AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 28, 2017 1:11PM EDT
Quebec politicians are unanimous in standing up for a 'fleuron' of the province's industrial base.
After the U.S. Dept. of Commerce slapped a punitive 219 percent tariff on Bombardier's new CSeries jets, and promised to impose more financial penalties in the weeks to come, every MNA in Quebec City voted to denounce the ruling.
Premier Philippe Couillard called it an unfair, arrogant, front attack.
"Quebec has been hit at the heart of its economy, at the heart of our aerospace industry, of our engineering, of our innovation," said Couillard.
He pointed out that Boeing is one of the most-subsidized companies in the United States.
"We are hit because a giant -- itself created and fed by decades of government support in the US -- has decided eliminate a competitor that makes better products. It's as simple as that," said Couillard.
The U.S. government decision came after Delta Airlines decided to purchase several dozen planes from Bombardier.
Boeing filed a complaint, even though it never tried to sell any planes from Delta, alleging it would be hurt by the sale of the Bombardier planes.
PQ leader Jean-Francois Lisée said the U.S. has used these tactics before.
"It's a kind of institutionalized bullying tactic that the U.S. has against its competitors," said Lisée.
Francois Legault -- who founded the airline Air Transat before entering politics -- said Canadian industries should expect more of the same from the Trump administration.
"Are we surprised with Mr. Trump's administration that they are so hard on negotiation with other countries? Not really," said Legault.
The premier is talking tough and said this is the beginning of a trade war that U.S. President Trump has been threatening to wage against countries around the globe since before he was elected.
"I asked the federal government and Prime Minister Trudeau to keep a hard line, a very hard line with Boeing. Not a bolt, not a part, not a plane from Boeing entering Canada until this conflict is resolved in a satisfactory way," said Couillard.
"Boeing may have won a battle, but let me tell you that the war is far from over and that we shall win."
Couillard says he plans to go to Washington to defend Bombardier, and both Lisée and Legault have agreed to join him.