Justin Trudeau says Canada will not buy from Boeing while it is ‘busy trying to sue us’

Key Points
  • Canada will not "do business with a company that's busy trying to sue us," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.
  • Boeing is trying to "put our aerospace workers out of business," Trudeau added.
  • Canada was negotiating with Boeing to buy Super Hornet fighter jets.
Justin Trudeau says Canada will not buy from Boeing while it is 'busy trying to sue us'

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shot back at Boeing on Monday, saying his country will not purchase any of the aerospace giant's Super Hornet jets if it continues to pursue a lawsuit against aircraft builder Bombardier.

"We have obviously been looking at the Super Hornet aircraft from Boeing as a potential significant procurement of our new fighter jets," Trudeau said. "But we won't do business with a company that's busy trying to sue us and put our aerospace workers out of business."

@BoyerMichel WATCH: Justin Trudeau says Canada won't purchase jets from Boeing. #cdnpoli

Shares of Boeing hit a record high of $253.67, trading midday at its highest since 1948, according to FactSet.

Boeing's lawsuit claims that Bombardier sold Delta Airlines 75 of its new C-Series planes for $19.6 million apiece, claiming the aircraft maker receives Canadian government subsidies that give it an advantage internationally. Bombardier returned fire on June 20, with President Fred Cromer saying "most people in our industry view this as an attack on innovation."

Canada was in talks to purchase 18 Super Hornet fighter jets from Boeing. Those talks were on hold after the Chicago-based company filed its lawsuit.

"Boeing is not suing Canada," the company told CNBC in a statement. "This is a commercial dispute with Bombardier, which has sold its C Series airplane in the United States at absurdly low prices, in violation of U.S. and global trade laws."

Trudeau's comments come after meeting in Ottawa with British Prime Minister Theresa May, who joined the Canadian leader in saying she would work with him to oppose Boeing's move against Bombardier.

The Canadian aerospace company is the single largest manufacturing employer in Northern Ireland, with around 4,500 workers. May said she will speak to President Donald Trump at the United Nations this week, to impress "on him the significance of Bombardier to the United Kingdom."

"I am very happy to be working with Prime Minister May to explain to the American administration how Boeing's actions are harmful to workers here in Canada," Trudeau said.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is currently investigating Bombardier's new C-series passenger plane, with the International Trade Commission due to deliver a preliminary ruling on the dispute later this month.

— Reuters contributed to this report.