| OTTAWA, June 1
OTTAWA, June 1 Boeing Co on Thursday
scrapped an announcement about the fighter jets it hopes to sell
to Canada, a day after the country's defense minister objected
to the firm's behavior in a trade dispute against Canadian
planemaker Bombardier Inc
"Due to the current climate, today is not the most opportune
time to share this good news story," Boeing spokesman Scott Day
said in a statement issued at an Ottawa defense show.
While he did not specifically refer to the trade dispute,
his comments appeared to be a reference to growing tensions
between Ottawa and the U.S airplane manufacturer.
Last month, Canada said it "strongly disagrees" with the
U.S. Commerce Department decision to investigate Boeing's claims
that Bombardier sold planes below cost in the United States and
benefited unfairly from Canadian government subsidies.
As a result, government ministers have cut off contacts with
The company had been due to announce at the show on Thursday
which Canadian companies would benefit if the purchase went
ahead. Boeing has 560 suppliers in Canada.
Even lower-level Canadian officials were not visiting the
company's stand at the defense industry exhibition, said one
source familiar with the matter who didn't want to be identified
given the sensitivity of the situation.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan on Wednesday said the firm
would be a trusted military ally in decades to come, but he
complained the anti-dumping petition against Bombardier was "not
the behavior we expect of a trusted partner".
Canada says it needs the 18 Super Hornet jets as a stopgap
until it can launch an open competition to replace its fleet of
77 aging Boeing CF-18 planes.
A Super Hornet deal with Boeing would generate new
in-service support contracts for industry in Canada's aerospace
hub of Quebec, where existing CF-18s are now maintained.
Montreal-based simulator manufacturer CAE Inc works
with L-3 MAS, a Quebec-based division of L3 Technologies Inc
, to provide in-service support for the CF-18s.
Boeing has already said it would collaborate with L-3 MAS on
production and support of the Super Hornets if Canada purchases
the fighter jets.
(Additional reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing
by W Simon)