May pushes Britain-Canada free trade in Trudeau talks

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Boeing accuses Bombardier of dumping its new CSeries passenger jet in the USA aircraft market, a charge the Canadian firm denies.

Ottawa, Sep 18 British Prime Minister Theresa May today urged Canada to use its new free trade agreement with Europe as a basis for a pact with Britain after it leaves the European Union.

May and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are anxious about Boeing's move against Bombardier Inc, which is the single largest manufacturing employer in Northern Ireland and Canada's most important aerospace firm.

"I will raise the issue of Bombardier when I meet with him again later this week", said May. The trade relationship between the two economics is worth £15.2bn a year, with over 10,000 British companies exporting goods to Canada.

"We recognize the rules in place around negotiation with the EU and EU members and we respect the need for the U.K.to determine its path forward with Brexit from the EU", said Trudeau. It challenges Ottawa and Quebec governments' support for Bombardier's C-series passenger jet program as unfair trade subsidies. The Canadian firm has denied the dumping accusations and accused Boeing of hypocrisy.

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Speaking ahead of her visit, Mrs May said that Canada and the United Kingdom form a "powerful union" when they work together on priorities like free trade. "This is a commercial dispute with Bombardier", the statement said. More than 4,000 people work at Bombardier there, the majority involved in making carbon fiber composite wings for the C Series.

Speaking ahead of her visit, May said: "When we come together and work as one to project our shared values on the world stage, we form a powerful union".

May acknowledged that a decision from the U.S. Commerce Department is due in late September but cautioned that even if the Trump administration sided with Boeing, it would only be a preliminary ruling.

The Prime Minister was facing calls to sack Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who was branded a "backseat driver" by a Cabinet colleague after setting out his own vision for a hard Brexit just days before a major speech in which Mrs May is expected to offer compromise. The Democratic Unionist Party agreed to prop up the May government earlier this year in return for economic investment in Northern Ireland.

Trudeau said "the action that Boeing has taken is very much in their narrow economic interests, to harm a potential competitor, and quite frankly is not in keeping with the kind of openness to trade that we know benefits citizens in all countries around the world".

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