The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is defending itself against what it calls “baseless allegations” by the Boeing Co. as the U.S. Department of Commerce investigates the pension fund’s investments in Bombardier Inc.

The Caisse “regrets the Department of Commerce’s decision to initiate an investigation of its market-based commercial investments but offers its full co-operation to bring the matter to a quick resolution, preventing further disruption of the civil aircraft industry,” the pension fund said in a statement.

The comments follow the U.S. department’s decision to investigate claims by Boeing that Bombardier received subsidies that allowed it to sell its CSeries planes at below-market prices. The aerospace giant has also taken the Caisse to task over a credit facility for Bombardier in 2009, as well as the pension fund’s acquisition of a 30 per cent stake in the company’s rail division. “The 2009 credit facility was put in place by a syndicate of commercial banks and other institutions, which CDPQ left in November 2013,” the Caisse said in its statement. “Boeing offered no evidence to support the notion that this facility was not concluded on commercial terms or that it conferred a subsidy to Bombardier.”

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The Caisse also defended the rail transaction. The Caisse’s “acquisition of a 30 per cent stake in Bombardier’s rail division was completed after extensive due diligence and in consultation with outside advisers,” it stated. “Both the price paid and the terms of the deal are highly commercial in nature and in no way conferred a subsidy to the company.”

According to The Canadian Press, Boeing is calling for countervailing duties of 79.41 per cent and anti-dumping charges of 79.82 per cent if authorities uphold its complaint. It claims Bombardier has received more than US$3 billion in government subsidies so far.

The Caisse, however, is strongly refuting the allegations against it. “The allegations targeting CDPQ are baseless and outrageous. We will refute them while offering our full co-operation to U.S. agencies to bring this matter to a quick and satisfactory resolution,” said Kim Thomassin, executive vice-president of legal affairs at the Caisse.

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Copyright © 2017 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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