ITC rejects Bombardier's request to review Embraer range

The US International Trade Commission has rejected Bombardier's final request to have the commission's record reopened to include new information about the range of the Embraer 190-E2.

Bombardier submitted the request on 23 January, four business days after the ITC closed its record. The company claimed that new range information cited in a FlightGlobal story proved that the E190-E2 should be part of the class of aircraft that the ITC is investigating.

The ITC is scheduled to issue a final ruling in the Bombardier-Boeing trade dispute tomorrow – a long-awaited decision that will determine if CSeries aircraft imported into the USA will be stamped with a 292% import duty.

"The commission has determined that good cause does not exist to accept your submission," says in a 24 January letter denying Bombardier's request signed by ITC secretary Lisa Barton.

The letter provides no other details, and Bombardier does not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bombardier based its request to reopen the record on a 19 January FlightGlobal story in which an Embraer executive says efficiency improvements have boosted the E190-E2's range to 2,900nm (5,371km) from 2,850nm.

Embraer has since clarified that the improved range is actually 2,880nm.

But Bombardier's filing said the 2,900nm figure puts the E190-E2 within the aircraft class being investigated and counters Boeing's claims that Embraer's E-Jets do not compete in the class.

US trade officials have defined that class, at Boeing's request, as being large commercial aircraft with 100 to 150 seats and range of at least 2,900nm.

Those parameters excluded the E190-E2 from a group that includes the Boeing 737-700, 737 Max 7, CS100, CS300, Airbus A319 and A319neo.

Bombardier has long insisted that its CSeries competes with Embraer's E-Jets, not with the larger 737-700 or 737-7.

The company and its supporters have said that Boeing is seeking to squash competition by forcing Bombardier out of the US market. Some observers also say that recent reports that Boeing has held acquisition talks with Embraer indicate that it sees E-Jets as a real competitor in that market.

Boeing denies those allegations, saying it has long enjoyed close ties with Embraer. Boeing says US industry was harmed by Bombardier's below-market CSeries sales prices and by billions of dollars in government subsidies.

The ITC's decision will cap an investigation launched last year when Boeing submitted a petition to US trade officials. Boeing claimed a heavily-subsidised Bombardier sold CS100s to Delta Air Lines at below-market rates, violating US trade laws and causing injury to Boeing.

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