This week’s Chronicle Column

This week we heard the dreadful news regarding the potential loss of 400 jobs from the Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port. The factory has been a big part of the local community for almost 30 years and a lot of my constituents work there.

The redundancies, despite hopes that they will be conducted on a voluntary basis, are still a major blow to the UK automotive industry. I know Justin Madders, the MP for Ellesmere Port, has already raised his concerns with the Government and sought assurances that no compulsory redundancies will be made.

I will of course be monitoring the situation carefully and if any constituents need any help or advice then please do not hesitate to get in touch with my office.

Boeing’s recent efforts to undermine the production of Bombardier’s C-Series Aircraft was another underhand tactic similar to their numerous attempts in the past to limit Airbus’ influence on the market.

The U.S. Department of Commerce put a 300% tariff on the C-Series. This was because Boeing complained about Bombardier receiving what they thought was unfair financial assistance from the Canadian Government that allowed them to charge customers less for the C-Series.

This attempt by Boeing to control the market is, on the face of it, a case of double standards as Boeing receives millions of dollars of direct subsidy from US states and also from NASA and DoD funding.

The move put UK jobs in danger as some of the production of the C-Series is done in a purpose built factory in Belfast. It was encouraging therefore to see Airbus step in this week and announce a partnership with Bombardier to take a majority share in the production of the C-Series.

Under the agreement Airbus will provide procurement, sales and marketing, and customer support expertise. Invaluable experience that will significantly lower production costs.

It is welcome news that appears to be a win-win situation for both parties as it ensures production of the C-Series will not be affected by the tariffs, whilst Airbus’ global industrial footprint expands further.

However, it was certainly a messy situation and the Government needs to ensure it takes the necessary steps to resolve the ongoing trade dispute.