Theresa May “Bitterly Disappointed” By U.S. Commerce Department’s Decision to Impose Punitive Import Duties on Bombardier Jetliner

It’s no wonder Theresa May says she’s “bitterly disappointed” by the U.S. Commerce Department’s decision to impose punitive import duties on Bombardier Inc.’s new jetliner. It hurts the U.K. prime minister in several ways at once.

First, it’s a blow to a big employer: More than 4,000 work for the company in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the plane’s wings are built.

Second, Northern Ireland is a sensitive area for British politics: It is only because May’s Conservatives have the support of 10 lawmakers from the region that she’s able to govern.

 Third, it’s a personal embarrassment: After spending political capital at home to try to build a close relationship with Donald Trump, she raised the issue with him both by phone and in person, with no obvious result.
The opposition Labour Party, while offering support to the government’s position that the U.S. ruling is wrong, was quick to point out that the news doesn’t bode well for the proposed free-trade deal with the U.S. that Trump and May have both made much of.

“Try telling Bombardier workers this morning that post Brexit we’ll be striking ‘easy’ free-trade agreements with the U.S.” the party’s Northern Ireland spokesman, Owen Smith, said on Twitter

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