Bombardier ruling exposes stupidity of anti-EU claims of left and right

September 27, 2017 at 10:37 am (Brexit, Canada, capitalism, economics, Europe, internationalism, Jim D, nationalism, populism, United States, workers)

People work on a C Series aeroplane wing in the Bombardier factory in Belfast, Northern Ireland September 26, 2017
Above: Bombardier workers at the Belfast plant

America’s Department of Commerce has made a preliminary finding that the Canadian company Bombardier had received unfair state subsidies and sold below cost.

It has now imposed a 219.63% countervailing duty on Bombardier’s new commercial jets, putting thousands of jobs at risk. Bombardier, the largest employer in Northern Ireland with a workforce of 4,100, describes the contract as “critical” to its operations.

The US International Trade Commission will now consider the case ahead of a final ruling in February.

The dispute centres on the sale of 125 C-Series airliners, the wings for which are made in Northern Ireland.

Boeing alleges that the subsidies Bombardier receives from the UK and Canadian governments mean it is launching its new C series jets below cost in the US, and so the US trade authorities should impose tariffs.

Boeing had accused its much smaller rival of “price dumping” to win a lucrative contract from the American carrier Delta. The US aerospace giant claimed each jet cost $33m (£25m) to produce, but that Bombardier had sold them for $20m (£15m) each.

Bombardier also disputes claims that support it had received from governments – £75m from the UK and $1bn (£745m) from Quebec was illegal.

Bombardier says Boeing’s position is hypocritical and absurd – hypocritical because Boeing prices its new planes very cheaply at launch, and because Boeing has received huge subsidies from the US government over the years; and absurd because Boeing is claiming to be damaged by Bombardier’s sales even though Boeing does not sell any competing planes of a similar size and has not done so for a decade.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has now said the Canadian air force will not buy Boeing’s Super Hornet jets from “a company that’s busy trying to sue us and put our aerospace workers out of business.” Theresa May, in turn, has said she will raise the issue with the famously protectionist Donald Trump when she grovels to him later this week at the UN.

This case provides a classic demonstration of the stupidity of those (on both left and right), who try to make out that the EU is the major obstacle that a British government faces (or would face) if it tried to give state aid to particular industries. Both supporters of Theresa May’s “industrial strategy” and of Jeremy Corbyn’s interventionist industrial policy have suggested that, when the UK leaves the EU, it will have greater freedom to apply state aid. But in a capitalist world, state aid may still come into conflict with new trade deals if one side or the other decides that such government intervention provides a legitimate reason to impose tariffs.

Some sectors of the economy (of which aerospace is just one) have very significant government involvement almost by their nature. In such cases it may be very difficult to treat trade disputes as “purely commercial” matters. As things stand, it will be the US trade authorities that decide on the Boeing-Bombardier dispute.

In any future US-UK trade deal, would we want US and UK courts deciding these matters, or would some joint arbitration body be a better way to adjudicate? This issue places May and the Tory anti-EU fanatics in a very difficult position, given their hostility to the ECJ and (presumably) any other supranational court with national jurisdiction.

Maybe post-Brexit the little-Britainers of left and right will stop complaining about “Brussels” interfering with national governments and start complaining about “Washington”, “Geneva” … and, indeed “the rest of the world”?

  • JD acknowledges the use of information from a piece by Andrew Lilico at City A.M. in the preparation of this post.

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‘Blowback’ in Canada?

October 23, 2014 at 11:00 pm (apologists and collaborators, Canada, conspiracy theories, iraq, islamism, James Bloodworth, Jim D, Middle East, posted by JD)

Michael Joseph Hall

Above: the Ottawa ISIS supporter

One of Shiraz‘s proudest achievements, over the years,  has been the debunking of the ‘blowback‘ explanation / excuse for terrorist attacks.

In the light of Rhodri Evans’s shrewd analysis of how ISIS has forced the ‘anti- imperialist’ left to re-examine its stance on Islamist terrorism,  I was about to comment upon how ‘blowback’ has been absent from most of the liberal-left’s response to events in Canada…

…when this wretched article appeared in today’s Independent.

The BTL comments are, in the vast majority, superb in their contempt for this shit. Sarah AB also does a very good fisking job, over at That Place.

James Bloodworth has also done an excellent job over at the Spectator, fisking the creepy ‘blowback’ promoter Glenn Greenwald and more or less writing the article I was going to come up with. So he’s saved me the trouble … here it is:

Anti-NSA crusader Glenn Greenwald published an article on Wednesday morning where he explained that the recent murder of a Canadian soldier by a radicalised Muslim convert was down to Canadian foreign policy. The important sentence in Greenwald’s piece is this one:

 

‘A country doesn’t get to run around for years wallowing in war glory, invading, rendering and bombing others, without the risk of having violence brought back to it.’

To put it another way, it was inevitable that the jihadists would come after Canadians, given that Canadians had meted out some fairly ripe treatment to the jihadists – first in Afghanistan and now against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (I’m being generous to Greenwald here, I grant you).

Read the rest here

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Tell Deutsche Telekom to respect workers’ rights

September 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm (Canada, Jim D, solidarity, unions, United States)

The social network for trade unionists – a
LabourStart project.

A message to all members of UnionBook

Dear UnionBook member,Deutsche Telekom is one of those companies that respects union rights at home
(in Germany), but not abroad.In the USA, it is using threats and scare tactics to block a union
organizing drive at T-Mobile USA.Today, which is Labor Day in the USA (and Canada), is a good day to tell
Deutsche Telekom’s CEO, Rene Obermann, to respect workers’s rights — to let
employees of T-Mobile USA make up their own minds about a union.No matter where you live in the world, please take a moment to send off
your message –
http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-bin/solidarityforever/show_campaign.cgi?c=1093

And here’s a Labor Day treat for all of you – videos of the top ten Labor
Day songs as picked by The Nation magazine (and there are some great ones
here):

http://www.thenation.com/blog/163148/top-ten-labor-day-songs

Please forward this email on to your fellow union members.

Thank you.

Eric Lee

Visit UnionBook at: http://www.unionbook.org/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

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