US approves $5 billion fighter jet sale to Canada
(CNN)The US State Department notified Congress Tuesday of its intent to sell up to 18 F/A-18 fighter jets to Canada, worth approximately $5.23 billion overall.
The proposed deal includes 10 F/A-18E and eight F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft as well as supporting equipment and armaments for both sets of jets.
The announcement comes just days after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised doubts about the deal due to an ongoing dispute between the jets' US-based manufacturer, Boeing, and the Canadian aerospace firm Bombardier."Canada is reviewing current military procurement that relates to Boeing," Trudeau's office said in a statement last week following a call between the Canadian prime minister and the governor of Missouri, where F/A-18s are manufactured.The statement said Canada was reviewing the deal due to Boeing's pursuit of "unfair and aggressive trade action against the Canadian aerospace sector."
In April, Boeing asked US officials to slap tariffs on Bombardier, accusing the Canadian company of dumping its C Series passenger jets on the US market at "absurdly low prices."The dispute has drawn in other US allies, with UK Prime Minister Theresa May raising the issue during a phone call with Trump last week, seeking to safeguard thousands of jobs at a Bombardier factory in northern Ireland.
But the State Department's announcement seems to suggest that the US is confident of the deal going forward as such announcements are rarely made without both countries being in agreement.
Canada's purchase of new F/A-18s is intended to help bridge the gap between its aging fleet of CF-18s and a new future aircraft.