OTTAWA/SEATTLE Boeing Co on Friday rushed to fix a gamble that looks to have gone wrong, with the defense unit of the U.S. plane maker seeking to fend off a Canadian threat to scrap the purchase of 18 Super Hornet jets, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
That move follows Canada’s threat on Thursday that it could ditch its plans to buy the jets if the United States backed Boeing’s claims that Canadian plane maker Bombardier Inc dumped jetliners in the U.S. market.
Political insiders say the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is furious about Boeing’s allegations, which comes at a time when trade relations between the United States and Canada are at a low.
“Boeing made the calculation that taking this action was worth the risk,” the source said, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation. “However, Boeing military sales division is concerned and is seeking to communicate with Canadian government decision-makers to mitigate the possible impact to their Super Hornet sale.”
Boeing said the firm hoped there would be no impact on the proposed Super Hornet sale but made clear it had no regrets about challenging Bombardier.
“This action is being taken against Bombardier’s pricing practices which are illegal and aggressive. It is a very clear case of dumping,” said spokesman Charlie Miller.
One industry source said a senior Boeing official tried to arrange a meeting with Trudeau recently but had been turned down.
A Trudeau spokesman declined to comment but said government ministers had not met with Boeing since it launched the Bombardier challenge. Boeing did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst at Teal Group, said that although Boeing’s complaint appears valid, “the secondary effects are disastrous.”
He said Boeing could lose $10 billion to $20 billion…