Boeing scorns Airbus Bombardier plan for Alabama facility
Penalties should apply to C Series jets even if a second assembly line is established in the U.S.
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By Frederic Tomesco and Julie Johnsson, Bloomberg, November 16, 2017
"Bombardier and Airbus are extremely unlikely ever to actually establish a C Series assembly line in Alabama," Boeing said in a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Plans for the new facility, which would probably be located next to an existing Airbus plant in Mobile, "would make no economic sense," the Chicago-based company said.
The letter, dated Nov. 13, is part of Boeing's case before U.S. authorities, which are investigating whether duties should be imposed on U.S. sales of the C Series. Boeing accused Bombardier of selling the jet to Delta Air Lines Inc. at "absurdly low prices." The Commerce Department so far has sided with Boeing, recommending preliminary tariffs of about 300 percent on the narrow-body plane.
Airbus agreed last month to take a majority stake in the C Series project, offering the European plane-maker's marketing and manufacturing expertise in exchange. Executives of both companies have argued that the C Series shouldn't face duties if it's assembled in Alabama. U.S.-made parts and components on the C Series already exceed 50 percent, Bombardier Chief Executive Officer Alain Bellemare said Tuesday at an investor conference.
Going Mobile, Alabama
Building the C Series facility in Mobile could cost more than $300 million, Bombardier said in a Commerce Department filing dated Nov. 6.
Bombardier doesn't "have enough orders for the C Series to sustain full production" at the company's existing C Series assembly line in Mirabel, Quebec, "for any appreciable period of time," Boeing said in its letter. "The only reason to conduct any C Series assembly activities in the United States would be to attempt to circumvent the antidumping and countervailing duties."
Penalties should apply to C Series jets even if a second assembly line is established in the U.S., Boeing said.