Business secretary Greg Clark commits government to continued push for Bombardier tariffs removal

Jasper Jolly
Follow Jasper
Conservative Party Autumn Conference 2015 - Day 2
Business secretary Greg Clark said government "will not rest" until Bombardier tariffs are removed (Source: Getty)

Business secretary Greg Clark today tried to ratchet up pressure on Boeing to drop a complaint against rival aerospace manufacturer Bombardier which threatens thousands of jobs in Belfast.

Speaking today in the House of Commons, Clark said the government will continue in its efforts to pressure the US to drop punitive sanctions against Bombardier.

The US government increased tariffs on Bombardier products by 220 per cent after US firm Boeing complained it had received state subsidies from both Canada and the UK.

Read more: Bombardier slapped with greater US tariffs amid protectionist concerns

Neither the UK nor the Canadian government “will rest until this groundless action is ended”, Clark said.

Clark said: “We consider this action by Boeing to be totally unjustified to be unwarranted and incompatible with the conduct that we would expect of a company with a long-term business relationship with the United Kingdom.”

Clark has previously travelled to Chicago to speak directly to the chairman and chief executive of Boeing, asking them to withdraw their complaint.

Some 4,200 workers are employed by Bombardier in Belfast, with around a quarter of those jobs dependent on the C Series wings in questions.

Read more: Trade committee chair seeks answers over Bombardier tariff row

The tariffs will have “catastrophic implications” for workers in Belfast, said Labour MP Rebecca Long Bailey, describing the UK government response as inadequate.

Clark described the US government decision to impose the tariffs as “bitterly disappointing”, adding that he will continue to pressure US counterparts as well as the bosses of Boeing.

The decision to punish Bombardier was a blow to government, who are aiming to strike a trade deal with the US to boost trade after Brexit.

Read more: Theresa May warns Boeing over undermining its relationship with Britain

Related articles