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Quebec premier rallies Bombardier employees after U.S. imposes tariff

Premier Couillard visits Bombardier plant in Mirabel
Concerned employees at Bombardier got a visit from the premier today. The US government's decision to impose high tariffs on the plane maker enraged the company and politicians. Elysia Bryan-Baynes reports.

Concerned employees at Bombardier got a visit from Quebec premier, Philippe Couillard on Thursday.

Couillard offered support and a war cry to the 3,000-plus employees at the aerospace company’s Mirabel plant affected by the American preliminary decision to impose a 220 per cent tariff on Bombardier planes going into the United States.

“We will keep selling all over the world whether Trump or Boeing likes it or not,” said Couillard.

READ MORE: Bombardier: A guide to the trade dispute and what could happen next

A final decision on the tariff is expected in 2018.

Until then, employees are in a state of uncertainty. Delta airlines in the U.S. was expecting delivery of the C-series plane in 2018. But the company has said that the 220 per cent tariff would make it unaffordable.

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Representatives for Bombardier told reporters that Americans should also be concerned about the decision.

“People in the U.S. have to understand that when they are hurting the C-series they are hurting themselves because there are 22,000 jobs attached to that program,” explained Bombardier’s vice-president of external relations, Olivier Marcil.

“If they really want to play this game, they should think about it,” warned International Relations Minister Christine St-Pierre.

READ MORE: Massive duty on Bombardier just latest example of new tariff-happy climate in Washington

During the visit, Couillard repeated his call for a boycott of Boeing in Canada, even though Boeing employs Canadians in Manitoba.

“I will repeat it. I don’t want one bolt, one part, one plane from Boeing to enter Canada before the resolution of this,” said Couillard.

The entire spat with the U.S. over Bombardier is playing out as Canada, Mexico and the United States renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA.