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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Canada might withdraw Boeing order over trade rift: Trudeau

   Canada column for Sunday, Sept. 24/17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada won’t buy planes from U.S.-based Boeing if it follows through with a trade battle.
   Canada won’t do business with Boeing while it’s “busy trying to sue us and trying to put our aerospace workers out of business,” he added.
   At issue is Trudeau’s contention that Canada will withdraw from its $6-billion purchase of 18 Super Hornet fighter jets unless Boeing drops its action against Montreal-based Bombardier.
   Boeing accuses Bombardier of selling its CSeries passenger jets to U.S. airlines at “absurdly low prices” due to government subsidies.
   The U.S. International Trade Commission is expected to release preliminary results of its investigation on Tuesday that could result in fines or tariffs against Bombardier.
   Boeing wants the U.S. government to impose preliminary countervailing duties of 79.41 percent and later anti-dumping duties of 79.82 percent.
   Canada might also exclude Super Hornets from bids to replace the aging fleet of CF-18 jets, with the cost for 88 airplanes as much as $19 billion.


   Wealthy business owners have begun moving their money around in reaction to the Canadian government’s plan to implement tax reforms.
   The proposed changes are aimed at “making the system fairer, rather than generating revenue,” said Prime Minister Trudeau.
   They would prevent the “wealthy” from using private corporations to pay lower tax rates than the middle class.
   John Manley, a former Liberal finance minister, said some “big players could soon head for the exits.”


   News in brief:
   - Ontario and Quebec consumer protection agencies are warning shoppers to be cautious of buying used cars that might have been flooded by hurricanes. Insurers might try to dispose of cars written off that might pop up unknowingly in the Canadian market. The Automobile Protection Association says damage caused by flooding can take months or years to appear.
   - Canada’s inflation rate moved higher to 1.4 percent last month from 1.2 percent, driven by higher costs for gasoline, hotels and airline tickets. Powerful economic growth in the first half of this year is expected to cause the Bank of Canada to continue raising its key interest rate over the next year. The bank said the economy’s recent softness was mostly temporary.


   Facts and figures:
   Canada’s dollar is lower at 81.03 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.233 in Canadian funds before exchange fees.
   The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate remains at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3.2 percent.
   Stock markets are mixed, with the Toronto exchange index up at 15,435 points while the TSX Venture index is down at 777 points.
   The average price for gas in Canada is down to $1.11 a liter or $4.21 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.
   Lotto 6/49: (Sept. 20) 6, 17, 29, 37, 45 and 47; bonus 39. (Sept. 16) 9, 17, 19, 26, 37 and 47; bonus 13. Lotto Max (Sept. 15) 15, 20, 24, 30, 39, 44 and 46; bonus 22.


   Regional briefs:
   - A strike at GM’s CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario has resulted in layoffs of other auto workers. At issue for the Unifor union’s 2,500 striking workers is job security as GM shifted production of its Terrain SUV to Mexico. GM has laid off 255 workers at the St. Catharines transmission plant and 100 workers are off at the Tenneco plant in Cambridge that supplies exhaust systems for the Chevrolet Equinox.
   - Mathieu Gagne, 31, of Alberta has had a speeding ticket for going one kilometer (0.6 miles) an hour over the speed limit withdrawn. A Sturgeon County officer accused Gagne of “disrespecting” him by passing his police car. After some social media reaction, the ticket for $78 was canceled as Gagne’s speed “wasn’t measured on radar or laser as indicated,” the county said.


Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

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