OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada will continue talks with Washington on settling a dispute between Boeing Co (BA.N) and Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) regardless of whether a U.S. trade court next week backs a challenge launched by the American company, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.
Trudeau said his government would push back against Boeing, which he accused of trying to put thousands of Canadian aerospace employees out of work.
Boeing accuses Bombardier of dumping its new CSeries passenger jet in the U.S. aircraft market, a charge the Canadian firm denies.
A U.S. trade court is due to give a preliminary ruling on Boeing’s complaint on Sept. 25.
“We have been very actively engaged, both directly with Boeing and with the American administration, including governors, congressmen and women and the administration. We will continue to stand up and defend Canadian jobs,” Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa.
He added that Canada was disappointed that Boeing walked away from negotiations ahead of the preliminary ruling, but said discussions will continue regardless of the ruling.
Trudeau said on Monday that Canada would not talk to Boeing about a proposed purchase of 18 F-18 Super Hornet fighter jets until the firm had dropped its challenge.
Canada last month tried to end the dispute by suggesting it could withdraw a threat not to buy the Super Hornets if Boeing withdrew the challenge, sources said, but Boeing rejected the idea.
Trudeau said Canada would consider its options to find an interim solution to equip Canadian forces while the dispute continued.
“We have a capability gap, we cannot fulfill our obligations toward both NORAD and NATO at this point, and we need to fix that,” he said.
Reporting and writing by Andrea Hopkins and David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Alistair Bell