Boeing’s disqualification for Canadian defense contract traces to 2017 trade complaint

Air Wars, The Global Combat Between Airbus and Boeing

Why did the Canadian government apparently disqualify Boeing for the second time for a defense contract? Because of a 2017 complaint vs the Bombardier CSeries.

Scott has written a lively and candid successor to “The Sporty Game”. Scott’s breadth of access to industry luminaries, who spoke so candidly really made this book.”

— Chris Sloan, The Airchives

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA, US, December 7, 2021 / — For the second time, Canada disqualified Boeing from a defense contract.

Canada last week ruled out Boeing as a bidder for its new jet fighter procurement. Although the Defence department didn’t explicitly say so, media reports indicated Boeing was disqualified because of its 2017 trade complaint against the Bombardier C Series. (US International Trade Commission, Investigations Nos. 701-TA-578 and 731-TA-1368.)

Boeing filed the complaint after Bombardier sold 75 CS100s, a 100-seat jet, to Delta Air Lines. Boeing didn’t offer a new airplane in the competition, only used jets. But in the complaint, filed in the early days of the Trump Administration, Boeing claimed Bombardier sold the aircraft at price-dumping rates. The Administration upheld the claim, but the Court of International Trade rule unanimously Boeing didn’t suffer any harm because it didn’t offer a competing jet to Delta.

After the complaint was filed, the financially struggling Bombardier sold 50.1% of the C Series program to Airbus for US$1. Even then, Bombardier couldn’t fulfill its remaining financial obligations. Airbus bought out BBD’s remaining shares and now owns 75% of the program. Canada inserted clauses into future procurements that disqualified companies that took actions detrimental to Canada’s aerospace interests. This was widely called the “Boeing amendment.” Boeing previously was disqualified from bidding on Canada’s aerial tanker replacement.

Why did Boeing file the trade complaint against the C Series? This is fully explained in the new book, Air Wars, The Global Combat Between Airbus and Boeing. It’s available at Amazon. This is just one of the scores of behind-the-scenes stories about the often bitter competition between Airbus and Boeing.

Authored by Scott Hamilton, a 42-year veteran of reporting on commercial aviation, the book has been rated 4.5 stars at Amazon and Good Reads. Air Wars has been called a worthy successor to 1982’s The Sporty Game, the definitive history at the time of the competition between Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, and Airbus.

Hamilton is managing director of the consulting firm Leeham Co. LLC and editor of Leeham News and Analysis.

Gail Twelves
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