Canada Cancels Boeing Fighter Deal
A Canadian newspaper says the Canadian government has scrapped plans to buy 18 Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets as part of an escalating trade dispute with the U.S. manufacturer. Instead, the National Post says Canada’s Department of National Defence will announce it’s buying an unspecified number of surplus F-18 Hornets from Australia, the same type now operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force. Australia is phasing out the Hornets as it takes delivery of F-35s. Canada is also in the market for more modern aircraft to replace its 30-year-old fleet of F-18s. The $2 billion order for 18 Super Hornets was intended as a stopgap until a decision is made on the final form of Canada’s fighter force. Canada is a partner in the F-35 program but has suspended an order for 67 of the fifth-generation fighters after the current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, made a campaign promise in 2015 to drop out of the Joint Strike Fighter program.
Boeing has filed trade disputes to block the sale of Canadian company Bombardier’s CSeries airliners in the U.S. at prices Boeing claims are below Bombardier’s cost. The U.S. Commerce Department has agreed to almost 300 percent in duties against the CSeries and that resulted in Bombardier striking a deal with Airbus to potentially build the airliners in the Airbus plant in Mobile, Alabama. The dispute now appears to have spread to increasingly fractious negotiations over the Trump administration’s threat to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement. AeroMexico is apparently in talks with Delta, Bombardier’s biggest customer for the CSeries, to take at least some of Delta’s 75 aircraft off its hands while the trade issues are sorted out.