Theresa May Asks Trump For Help To Save Jobs In Northern Ireland

Bombardier

Prime Minster Theresa May telephoned US President Donald Trump last week, and Business Secretary Greg Clark flew to Chicago to meet with Boeing's chairman, president and CEO, Dennis Muilenburg.

Boeing also alleges Bombardier engaged in "price dumping" by agreeing to sell 75 of their planes for almost £10.6m ($14m) below their cost price.

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: 'This is a commercial matter but the United Kingdom government is working tirelessly to safeguard Bombardier's operations and its highly skilled workers in Belfast.

However, the UK Government has been actively lobbying in the U.S. for a compromise between the two companies amid growing concern about the potential implications for Bombardier's Belfast operations.

The Times of London first reported the phone call.

The request, made in a call with the president on September 5, came as her government seeks to protect jobs at a Bombardier plant in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

"The engagement at governmental level with Boeing and with the USA has been significant over the course of the summer because this is pivotal to the Northern Ireland economy", DUP lawmaker Gavin Robinson told the Irish national broadcaster RTE.

The PM needs Boeing to back off because of pressure from leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Arlene Foster. Months of talks between the parties have failed to resolve the political crisis.

Earlier this year, Boeing launched a potentially damaging trade challenge action against Bombardier, alleging it is dumping its new C-Series passenger jets on the US market.

Unifor National President Jerry Dias is meeting this afternoon with Boeing officials to discuss its trade complaint involving Bombardier's C Series planes. Bombardier said the plaintiff is a global powerhouse that has not lost any sales as a result of Bombardier.

The Canadian group has previously said that it hopes the C-Series could generate more than 800 jobs for Northern Ireland once the programme reaches peak production.

A spokesperson said the government "is working tirelessly to safeguard Bombardier's operations and its highly skilled workers in Belfast".

Bombardier's C Series plane "does not compete against any Boeing aircraft on the Delta sale", MacNaughton said, adding: "What we're trying to understand is what they're objecting to".

"Our priority is to encourage Boeing to drop its case and seek a negotiated settlement with Bombardier", they said.

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