Canada cancels fighter-jet purchase from Boeing over trade dispute with US

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The Canadian government is contemplating buying used F/A-18 Hornets from Australia instead of procuring new Super Hornet planes directly from Boeing, a move that would be a major blow to the company's fresh new aircraft line, Defense News reports.

Government and industry sources said the Australia deal will be announced as early as next week, with the Royal Canadian Air Force needing 28 to 30 used F/A-18 fighter jets to meet its global commitments.

Canadian has said for months it might cancel the planned purchase because of a dispute between Boeing and Bombardier, a Canadian aircraft maker.

Read the whole story from Reuters.

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The Canadian government then confirmed on 29 September it submitted an expression of interest, formally marking Canada's interest in the Australian equipment.

Some are also wondering whether the Liberals, who had promised to launch a formal fighter-jet competition before the 2019 election, now plan to hold off until after Canadians go to the polls. Boeing alleged that Bombardier was selling the planes at "absurdly low" prices, and the Department of Commerce imposed a preliminary 300 percent import duty on Bombardier's CS 100 planes.

In buying older Australian Super Hornets, Canada would be buying a cheaper aircraft, not need to retrain its pilots, nor spend money on a new supply chain, one source said.

No U.S. company makes a C-series rival.

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Bombardier denies any wrongdoing and says Boeing can not prove it was harmed by the Canadian company's actions because it did not offer Delta any planes of its own. "It has to be a two-way street, there has to be this mutually beneficial relationship for it to be one that grows, one that both sides are happy and excited about".

"We have tremendous losses with Mexico and losses with Canada, and covered by NAFTA".

At a conference in Boston in November, Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare said: "Boeing is underestimating what they are tackling. Unfortunately, I think they're taking advantage of a [political] context that's favorable to them".

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