Today, a Chamber of Commerce trade court will decide whether to maintain the 300% import tariffs that were applied to the airline manufacturer, Bombardier, in September and October.
The tariffs stem from a case filed by Boeing in April that allege Bombardier received government subsidies and dumped products under market price into the US market, violating trade rules.
The tariffs, which threatens the solvency of the debt-strapped company, are straining American relations with both Canada and the UK. Bombardier employs more than 24,000 Canadians and is the single largest industrial manufacturer in Northern Ireland. The dispute threatens to delay NAFTA negotiations, and Ottawa is less likely to bend to US-friendly terms if the dispute persists
For the duties to be made permanent, Boeing will have to prove to the US International Trade Commission that it suffered direct harm from Bombardier before February. The dispute presages the likely future of protectionism under the Trump administration—not the wholesale tearing up of trade deals, but aggressively seizing on every opportunity to apply specific restrictions to trade.