Unite has said the prospect of a post-Brexit US-UK trade deal is “effectively dead” after the US Department of Commerce ruled this week (September 27) to slap a massive 220 per cent tariff on imported Bombardier planes.
Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “Trump has thrown May under the bus with this decision.
“The promise of Trump’s ‘big beautiful trade agreement’ with the UK is effectively dead – it should give us pause over what the UK’s position in any future trade deal with the US would be.”
He added: “So much for Liam Fox’s flying visits to the US to try to kick start trade discussions.”
Burke said Boeing’s “corporate bullying”, supported by the Trump administration, demonstrates the need for a proper procurement and industrial strategy for UK defence – a point Unite has long made through its ‘Defend Our Spend’ campaign.
Unite will not rest until the future of Bombardier workers and the thousands whose livelihood depends on the company’s wider supply chain is secured.
“We are leaving no stone unturned – we are lobbying Mrs. May and Government ministers, and our Irish Regional Officers are working hard to get all Northern Ireland politicians on board in a co-ordinated campaign,” said Burke.
“We are working with our sister unions in the USA and Canada. We have the full backing of the Labour Party to pressure both the US and Canadian governments along with Boeing and Bombardier to get this sorted out.
“We are determined to stand up for every single one of our members’ jobs and the wider community reliant on these highly skilled jobs.”