Northern Ireland

Reaction to surprise Bombardier tax ruling

A Bombardier C-Series plane Image copyright Reuters
Image caption More than 4,000 workers are employed in Belfast by the Canadian aircraft manufacturer

Politicians and unions in the UK have reacted with surprise and relief after the Canadian aerospace firm Bombardier won a major trade case in the US.

It had been anticipated that the manufacturer would fail in its bid to overturn a ruling to impose big tariffs on US imports of its C-Series jet.

It was thought such an outcome could threaten thousands of jobs in the UK, many of which are based in Belfast.

But the case, centred on a complaint by aerospace rival Boeing, was dismissed.

The ruling, by the US International Trade Commission (ITC), means that a tax of almost 300% will not now be imposed on orders of C-Series planes by American carriers.

Prime Minister Theresa May

"I welcome this decision, which is good news for British industry.

"Bombardier and its innovative workforce play a vital role in the Northern Ireland economy."

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley

"The UK government has been working tirelessly to safeguard Bombardier jobs and argued from the very start this case was wholly unjustified.

"It is great that the company will continue to play a hugely important role in our economy as we build a Northern Ireland fit for the future."

Business Secretary Greg Clark

"The decision by the International Trade Commission confirms what the UK and Canadian Governments working hand-in-hand has maintained from the outset, that this case is unjustified.

"We are pleased that the ITC have now recognised this."

Democratic Unionist Party MP Gavin Robinson

"This is fantastic news for Bombardier and particularly for the firm's 4,000 workers in Northern Ireland and the many more who form part of the supply chain here.

"This news means that the C-Series is fully ready for take-off and I firmly believe it can now maximise its huge potential."

Sinn Féin's northern leader Michelle O'Neill

"[This] represents a welcome victory for Bombardier, the Belfast workforce and their representatives at Unite the Union.

"I hope that the matter is now closed and that the company can secure the future of the C-Series, and by extension the workforce in their new partnership with Airbus."

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long

"I hope it is the end of the matter, which has been highly disruptive to Bombardier and extremely stressful for local employees of the company and those working in the supply chain.

"We need to ensure the organisation can now proceed with the construction and supply of one of the most innovative aircraft on the global market."

Ulster Unionist Party MLA Andy Allen

"I welcome the common sense approach from the ITC in rejecting the protectionist complaint brought by Boeing.

"This ruling is testament to the unwavering campaign by all involved in exposing the complaint from Boeing for what it really was - a bid to silence a competitor."

Labour Party's shadow Northern Ireland secretary Owen Smith

"Workers at Bombardier will be delighted tonight - they and the company are wholly vindicated by the ITC decision.

"They will know that their unions - especially Steve Turner and all at Unite - worked incredibly hard to win this."

Unite trade union's assistant general secretary Steve Turner

"It is a right and just decision, which is in no small part down to the tireless campaign by Unite members - when the going got tough Unite did not throw the towel in.

"The C-Series is a world-beating aircraft made by world-class workers. There can be no backsliding from the US government on this decision."

Trades Union Congress general secretary Frances O'Grady

"This is great news for thousands of Bombardier workers, as well as workers in their supply chain.

"But we must not be complacent - the Trump administration has shown it wants to shut down Britain's ability to support good jobs in strategic industries."

GMB trade union organiser Michael Mulholland

"These tariffs would have been nothing short of a disaster for the Northern Ireland economy.

"This whole saga must act as a warning to the UK government about the battles it faces to defend jobs and industries as we leave the EU and face the increasingly hostile territory of trade wars on our own."

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