May phones Trump over Belfast jobs threat


12 Sep, 2017

May phones Trump over Belfast jobs threat

Prime Minister Theresa May has called US President Donald Trump over a threat to jobs from a trade dispute at the Bombardier plant in Belfast.

Last year, the Canadian multinational aerospace and transportation company, Bombardier, won an order to manufacture up to 125 CSeries passenger jets to US airline Delta.

The wings for the CSeries are made at Bombardier's Belfast plant. The whole project supports hundreds of jobs at the site.

However, competitor firm Boeing has complained to the US authorities that the deal was unfairly subsidised by the Canadian state.

The US Department of Commerce is due to make a ruling later in September.

It could slap Bombardier with punitive tariffs, making it very problematic for Bombardier to find new CSeries customers in the US.

A spokesperson said the government "is working tirelessly to safeguard Bombardier's operations and its highly skilled workers in Belfast".

"Ministers across government have engaged swiftly and extensively with Boeing, Bombardier, the US and Canadian governments".

"Our priority is to encourage Boeing to drop its case and seek a negotiated settlement with Bombardier”, they added.

The spokesperson said Theresa May addressed the issue and her concerns to safeguard jobs in Northern Ireland during a call with President Donald Trump last week.

Today's earlier news - Brexit: Withdrawal bill passes first Commons vote