Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Bombardier: Another reminder about crony capitalism

The USA threatens to impose a 219% tariff on imports of airplanes, at the request of Boeing who accuses Bombardier of selling at prices below cost, due to subsidies received in Northern Ireland and Canada. This is a brutal reminder about the dangers of politicians trying to “do deals” on behalf of their national companies.

The airplane industry is one the industries more rigged by protectionism of all kinds, and no company (including Boeing) is clean in the game. Likewise, with governments. The UK, despite its free trade rhetoric, is now threatening to retaliate by reducing its defence contracts with Boeing.

The risk of protectionism spiralling again out of control in the Western World is a consequence of the hypocrisy of politicians and the Trump advocacy of America First and “doing deals” approach to international trade arrangements.

The job of politicians it is not “to do deals”, their only job is exactly the opposite – to secure a level playing field for all.

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