September 12, 2017 / 12:28 PM / in 10 months

Bombardier jobs hugely important to N. Ireland - PM May's spokesman

LONDON, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Jobs at aerospace firm Bombardier in Northern Ireland are hugely important to the province's economy, British Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said on Tuesday, explaining her intervention in a trade dispute with U.S. rival Boeing.

Earlier this year, Boeing launched a potentially damaging trade challenge action against Bombardier, alleging it is dumping its new C-Series passenger jets on the U.S. market.

May raised the issue in a call with U.S. President Trump earlier this month.

"These jobs are of huge importance to Northern Ireland and the economy in Northern Ireland and the prime minister wished to make that point to the president," the spokesman told reporters, adding there had been a lot of government engagement with Boeing to try to persuade the company to drop or settle the case.

"It is in everyone's interests that we safeguard Bombardier's operations and the highly skilled workers that it has in Belfast." (Reporting by Kylie Maclellan, writing by William James, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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