Canada scraps plan to buy Boeing fighters amid trade dispute

The Canadian government has canceled a planned fighter-jet purchase from Seattle-based Boeing, apparently in retaliation for a trade dispute with the Trump administration, the Reuters news service reported Tuesday.

The same sources also indicate Canada will buy a fleet of used F-18 fighter jets from Australia's defense forces, jets that match the models that Canadian defense forces now operate.

Read the whole story from Reuters. RCAF now operates an ageing fleet of CF-18 fighters, which is due for replacement sometime in the next decade.

"If Canada kicks Boeing out, I think that will be deeply unfortunate for us both".

The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet is a more advanced version of the original design, outfitted with 20-mm guns for combat and able to carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons.

A Canadian delegation travelled to Australia in August to inspect the used aircraft.

Boeing argued that Bombardier - which sold its new C-series commercial jets to American company Delta Air Lines - was given a competitive advantage against other companies by receiving Canadian government subsidies.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the country "won't do business with a company that's busy trying to sue us and put our aerospace workers out of business".

Investors Business Daily notes that the move appears to be motivated by a 300 percent tariff Washington slapped on sales of Canadian Bombardier Series C jets. That legal process continues with final rulings expected by the U.S. International Trade Commission early next year.

At a conference in Boston in November, Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare said: "Boeing is underestimating what they are tackling".

As relations between the two sides deteriorated, Ottawa slammed Boeing for not acting as a trusted partner and began looking at the Australian jets.

Related News: