MONTREAL — U.S. aerospace giant Boeing has launched a public relations campaign amid its trade battle with Bombardier to remind Canadians of its economic contribution to the country.
The Chicago-based company (NYSE:BA) said its multimedia efforts, which got underway on Tuesday, includes traditional and digital media including television, radio and other digital platforms.
Boeing Canada managing director Kim Westenskow said the company contributes about $4 billion annually to Canada’s economic growth and development. That represents almost 14 per cent of Canada’s entire aerospace economic impact.
“What we accomplish together benefits Canada and the entire global aerospace industry. It is a compelling story that is overdue to be told,” she said in a news release.
Boeing said it works with 560 Canadian suppliers that support 17,500 jobs, along with 2,000 people it employs.
It said the company’s partnership dates back a century when founder Bill Boeing launched the world’s first international mail service between Vancouver and Seattle in a Boeing C-700.
“Today, Boeing is the largest non-Canadian aerospace manufacturer in Canada,” Westenskow added, pointing to both commercial and military activities.
“It is important that we share this story with the people of Canada.”
The campaign comes as the federal government — in response to the trade challenge to Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) — has threatened to cancel the planned purchase of 18 Boeing Super Hornets to temporarily augment Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18s.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to discuss Bombardier duties today during an Oval Office meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Bombardier Inc. last week accused the Trump administration of overreach by siding with Boeing in its bid to shut the CSeries commercial jet out of the world’s largest airline market by effectively quadrupling the price of any of the planes sold in the United States.
The U.S. Commerce Department added 79.82 per cent in preliminary anti-dumping duties to 219.63 per cent in preliminary countervailing tariffs once deliveries to Delta Air Lines begin next year.
Boeing said it welcomed the decision affirming its view that Bombardier sold the CSeries to Delta at prices below production cost to illegally grab market share in the single-aisle airplane market.
The Chicago-based aircraft giant petitioned the government in April after its smaller rival secured a deal for up to 125 of its CS100s with Delta in 2016. The firm order for 75 aircraft had a list price of US$5.6 billion, although large orders typically secure steep discounts.
Bombardier has repeatedly stressed that Americans will be hurt by the tariffs because more than half the content on the 100- to 150-seat CSeries is sourced by U.S. suppliers, including Pratt & Whitney engines. The program is expected to generate more than US$30 billion in business over its life and support more than 22,700 American jobs in 19 states.
Meanwhile, WestJet Airlines (TSX:WJA) said Wednesday it has become the first commercial carrier in Canada to take delivery of the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, one of 50 scheduled for delivery in the next four years.
The 174-seat aircraft is expected to officially enter service on Nov. 9 with a flight from Calgary to Toronto.
Air Canada (TSX:AC) has also placed orders for 33 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and 28 of the larger MAX 9s, with deliveries starting this year.
The planes use modern engines that are 14 per cent more fuel efficient than its 737 Next Generation planes and emit less noise.
Boeing and Airbus re-engined their main narrowbody planes after Bombardier launched its new, fuel efficient CSeries.
Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press