Canada canceling purchase of new Boeing fighter jets

The Boeing Company logo is projected on a wall at the

The Boeing Company logo is projected on a wall at the"What's ? conference in Chicago Illinois U.S

Canada is scrapping a plan to buy 18 Boeing Super Hornet planes and will instead opt for a second-hand fleet of Australian jets, sources told Reuters on Tuesday. The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) will likely purchase 28-30 used fighter planes from the Australian military, according to reports Tuesday.

Bombardier denies any wrongdoing and says Boeing can not prove it was harmed by the Canadian company's actions because it did not offer Delta any planes of its own.

The Australian jets are being considered as interim fighters.

Canada was looking to buy the Boeing aircraft as a placeholder for its fleet until a competition in 2019 to replace its ageing CF-18 jets.

The Liberal government had wanted to buy 18 Super Hornet fighter jets but that plan was derailed when the jet's manufacturer, Boeing, filed the trade complaint in April against Bombardier of Quebec over its civilian passenger jets. Boeing alleged that Bombardier was selling the planes at "absurdly low" prices, and the Department of Commerce imposed a preliminary 300 percent import duty on Bombardier's CS 100 planes.

The U.S. Department of Defence said in September that the contract for the Super Hornets could be worth up to $6.4-billion.

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The future of Boeing's military sales in Canada is also on hold.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the country "won't do business with a company that's busy trying to sue us and put our aerospace workers out of business".

In early October, the National Post reported Canada had taken the first official step to purchasing the used fighter jets from Australia.

The Liberals said last year that they planned to start receiving new fighters in about five years, or around 2021, at which point the 30-year-old CF-18s would start being phased out. "It has to be a two-way street, there has to be this mutually beneficial relationship for it to be one that grows, one that both sides are happy and excited about".

Australia's F-18s are nearly certain to be cheaper than Super Hornets, and easier to incorporate into the existing fleet, since they are nearly identical to Canada's own CF-18s.

But the company's thinly-veiled threat may be futile, especially in a larger political climate where Canada and Mexico are frustrated by Trump's attempts to renegotiate long-standing trade deals. "Unfortunately, I think they're taking advantage of a [political] context that's favorable to them".

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