Job fears as Bombardier faces proposed 300% duty on plane exports to US
ONE of the north's largest employers is facing a proposed 300% duty on its exports of planes to the US amid fears of possible job losses in Belfast.
A second preliminary US levy of 80% has been loaded on sales of aerospace manufacturer Bombardier as part of an international trade dispute.
The Canadian-owned multinational is already facing a planned 220% tariff on its aircraft as part of a separate investigation, the US Department of Commerce confirmed.
Bombardier employs more than 4,000 people at its Belfast factories and is due to begin delivering an order for up to 125 new jets to Atlanta-based Delta Airlines next year.
US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said: "The United States is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade with Canada, but this is not our idea of a properly functioning trading relationship".
British Prime Minister Theresa May had lobbied President Donald Trump over the dispute sparked by complaints from rival Boeing that Bombardier received unfair state subsidies from the UK and Canada, allowing the sale of airliners at below cost prices in the US.
Unions have warned thousands of jobs could be in jeopardy.
The US government said its intervention was prompted by concern to prevent "injurious dumping" of imports into the country, "establishing an opportunity to compete on a level playing field".
The wings for the new aircraft, which are due to be delivered to the US next year, are made at Bombardier's plant in east Belfast.
The manufacturer has been a major employer in the north for 30 years.