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Trudeau threatens to halt Canadian fighter jet buy over Boeing complaint

Trudeau threatens to halt Canadian fighter jet buy over Boeing complaint
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government may stop an anticipated $5.15 billion Boeing fighter jet buy over a trade complaint the U.S. firm launched against Canadian plane-maker Bombardier, The Associated Press reported.

Canada “won’t do business with a company that’s busy trying to sue us and put our aerospace workers out of business,” Trudeau said Monday during a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Canada is in the midst of negotiations to buy 18 Boeing-made F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets but put talks on hold after the firm filed a complaint against Bombardier.

The complaint claims Bombardier’s new C Series passenger aircraft receives Canadian government subsidies that allow it to significantly lower the cost per aircraft and give it a competitive advantage against other companies.

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Boeing’s move started a Commerce Department investigation that could result in penalties for Bombardier.

The State Department has already approved the Super Hornet sale, which the Canadian government sought late last year as an urgent requirement.

The 18 fighter jets, bought on an interim basis, would allow the Canadian air force to meet its North American Aerospace Defense Command and NATO commitments.

The Canadian government would then hold an open competition to buy more planes over the next five years. Canada also is part of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan has said Boeing’s action against Bombardier is “unfounded” and not the behavior of a “trusted partner.”