On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was bitterly disappointed by the decision made by the U.S. to place tariffs on Bombardier jets. May promised to protect jobs for thousands in Northern Ireland that this ruling has put at risk.
The British government said that the stance by Boeing was not justified and not the type of position it would expect from one of its long-term partners.
May asked President Donald Trump for help in finding a solution to the trade dispute between Boeing and Bombardier, but on Tuesday the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed an anti-subsidy duty of almost 220% on the Bombardier jets.
Though just a preliminary decision, it upset Canada, the home base of Bombardier and created more pressure for May.
The British government is supported by just a small party in Northern Ireland and looks at the U.S. as its best ally as Britain nears its exit from the European Union in just two years.
May promised that the British government would continue working with Bombardier to protect the important jobs in Northern Ireland.
This ruling brings into risk over 4,200 jobs at a Northern Ireland Bombardier plant where the CSeries 110 to 130-seat jets are made.
Boeing, the largest aerospace company in the world, accused its competitor Bombardier of dumping the CSeries aircraft in the U.S. and says the plane is being subsidized unfairly by the government of Canada, a charge denied by Bombardier.
The Commerce Department in the U.S. said the 220% duty was imposed on the new jets from Bombardier after a preliminary finding was made of subsidization.
The foreign affairs minister in Canada Chrystia Freeland has said that Canada disagrees strongly with countervailing duty and anti-dumping investigations into imports of civil aircraft from Canada.
While handling talks related to Brexit, May lobbied the U.S. hard and personally intervened with Trump, who has a theme for his administration of America First, to get one of the U.S. industry titans to back off.
However, the decision has increased the pressure domestically on May as she tries to continue her talks with the European Union about Britain’s exit.
After she lost her majority in an election held in June, May has become dependent upon the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party in Parliament.
The DUP it would be fighting to keep the plant open in Belfast, the largest manufacturing employer in Northern Ireland.