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Caisse defends dealings with Bombardier

"C Series" label on Bombardier CS300 aircraft seat

Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Montreal, on Thursday said it “regretted” the U.S. Commerce Department's investigation into claims that Bombardier Inc. unfairly dumped passenger aircraft into the U.S. market.

The Commerce Department said in a news release Thursday it was investigating allegations of product dumping and unfair Canadian subsidies that were filed April 27 by Boeing Co.

Caisse, which manages C$270.7 billion ($197.3 billion) in Quebec public pension and other assets, owns more than 53 million Class A and B shares in Bombardier. It also has a 30% stake in Bombardier's railway division.

“In the wake of the decision by the Department of Commerce to initiate an investigation targeting Bombardier's C-Series aircraft program, CDPQ will prove conclusively that its investments in the company were always done on commercial terms,” Caisse said in a separate news release.

Boeing's petition to the Commerce Department cites as evidence of unfair subsidies two Caisse investments in Bombardier — its participation in a credit facility for the company in 2009, and its acquisition of a stake in the rail division — as evidence of an unfair subsidy. Caisse said Boeing “offered no evidence” that the loan facility was not concluded on commercial terms or that it or the rail division stake “conferred a subsidy to Bombardier.”

“The allegations targeting CDPQ are baseless and outrageous. We will refute them while offering our full cooperation to U.S. agencies to bring this matter to a quick and satisfactory resolution,” Kim Thomassin, Caisse executive vice president, legal affairs and secretariat, said in the statement.