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.
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.
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.