Canada says it wants to resolve Boeing spat, but won't ignore national interests

Canada Natl Defense Min on multilateralism, NATO spending
Canada Natl Defense Min on multilateralism, NATO spending

Canada is hopeful for a resolution to its ongoing spat with Boeing but will not shy away from defending national interests, Minister of National Defense Harjit Sajjan told CNBC on Friday.

"We're very disappointed with the actions Boeing has taken against Bombardier...We believe (Boeing's) position is unfounded," Sajjan said on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual meeting of global defense officials.

Ottawa is currently reviewing defense procurements with the U.S. aerospace giant, Sajjan added, which include 18 Boeing Super Hornet jets.

In May, Boeing launched a trade complaint against Canadian plane maker Bombardier, alleging the Montreal-based firm receives government subsidies that allow it to sell planes at below-market prices.

Canada's defense policy report on June 7 is expected to shed more details on the country's future investments and purchases, including the proposed Boeing orders.

Canada's defense minister warns on foreign fighters
Canada's defense minister warns on foreign fighters

"We're hopeful things can be resolved, but we have to stand up for Canadian interests," stated Sajjan, who became the nation's first Sikh defense minister after being appointed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet in 2015.

A decorated lieutenant-colonel, 46-year old Sajjan clarified that his government was looking into the situation in its entirety, explaining the county's long relationship with the firm.

"Boeing has been a very credible partner on various other procurements and we'd like that to continue," Sajjan said. "As a minister, I need to make sure the Canadian armed forces have all the right tools."