Delta disputes claim it isn't buying American-made planes

Delta Air Lines is pushing back against accusations made by Peter Navarro, White House assistant for trade and manufacturing policy, that it is not buying American-made planes.

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DALDELTA AIR LINES INC.56.14+0.26+0.47%
AALAMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.27.73+0.48+1.78%
UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.88.58+0.72+0.82%

“Every single plane in Delta’s arsenal is an Airbus, they don’t buy American,” Navarro told FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria” when discussing the World Trade Organization’s ruling that the U.S. could impose tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of European Union goods due to Airbus receiving illegal subsidies for more than a decade. The tariffs, which are set to go into effect on Oct. 18, are expected to be 10 percent on large commercial aircraft and 25 percent on agricultural and other industrial goods.

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AALAMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.27.73+0.48+1.78%
UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.88.58+0.72+0.82%

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“When they buy Airbus over the last 15 years that’s heavily subsidized, it’s an unfair advantage over American and United and others. What Delta needs to do is recognize this is a “buy American administration,’” he said.

Delta told FOX Business Navarro’s comments were not entirely correct.

“Delta is proud to be one of the largest Boeing customers in the world,” a spokesperson said.

“Our mainline fleet is nearly 70% Boeing aircraft, with 613 Boeing jets flying for Delta today. We recently completed our latest order of 130 Boeing 737-900ER jets.”

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Delta on Wednesday said the tariffs placed on Airbus planes would "inflict serious harm on U.S. airlines." A Delta spokesperson told FOX Business that even if the airline could get out of its contract with Airbus, it is unlikely that Boeing would have the capacity to produce additional aircraft and deliver them when needed.

"Aircraft are significant purchases requiring long-lead times for production — often years in advance," the spokesperson said. “Imposing tariffs on aircraft that U.S. companies have already committed to will inflict serious harm on U.S. airlines, the millions of Americans they employ and the traveling public."

Delta has big plans to buy Boeing – and American – in the future. The airline in September said it’s planning to beef up its fleet by buying up to 200 Boeing 797s over the next decade.

To date, the actual order has not been placed. FOX Business' inquiries to Boeing were not returned at the time of publication.

James Leggate contributed to this report.