OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's defense minister, Harjit Sajjan, said on Wednesday that Boeing Co will be a trusted military ally in decades to come, but that its anti-dumping petition against Bombardier Inc is not behavior expected of a partner.
Sajjan called on Boeing to abandon the anti-dumping challenge it has launched against Canadian plane maker Bombardier, saying Ottawa was disappointed by the U.S. company's behavior. Canada has threatened to scrap plans to buy Boeing fighter jets over the dispute.
"We have a longstanding relationship with Boeing, and as I stated, we're hoping that this can be resolved in a ... manner that respects everyone," Sajjan told reporters on the sidelines of a defense industry event in Ottawa.
Boeing accuses Bombardier of selling airliners in the U.S. market at artificially low prices.
In response to Sajjan's request to withdraw the petition, Boeing spokesman Dan Curran said by email that "this is a commercial matter that Boeing is seeking to address through the normal course for resolving such issues."
Earlier this month, in response to Boeing's challenge at the U.S. International Trade Commission, Canada said it was reviewing the planned purchase of 18 Boeing Super Hornet jets..
When asked whether Ottawa would scrap the order if Boeing failed to drop its complaint, Sajjan said "we need to let the process take its course." The Super Hornets are needed as an interim measure until Ottawa can run a competition to replace its aging fleet of CF-18 fighters.
"The interim fleet procurement requires a trusted industry partner. For decades, Boeing has been an outstanding partner with the Canadian Armed Forces ... I expect that to be the case in the decades to come," he said during a speech.
"However, our government is of the view that their action against Bombardier is unfounded. It is not the behavior we expect of a trusted partner, and we call on Boeing to withdraw it."
Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa Additional reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis